NC State Extension Publications


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While spotted wing drosophila is a primary pest of strawberries and other soft skinned fruits, meaning it attacks otherwise undamaged fruit, many species of native, non-pest Drosophila may feed on fruit that has been previously damaged. Other Drososphila species are unable to penetrate the surface of sound fruits and must wait until the fruit rot or are damaged by other causes, such as pathogens, mechanical injury, or other insects.

Drosophila larvae in banana

Drosophila larvae in banana.

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

drosophila melanogaster

Drosophila melanogaster adult. Note that this fly lacks spots on its wings and has no large, serrated ovipositor.

Mohammed El Damir, Pest Management,

Damage in Strawberry

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Drosophila larvae feed and pupate internally in damaged strawberries.

Drosophila pupae

Drosophila pupae on banana.

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Scouting and Thresholds

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Non-spotted wing drosophila Drosophila larvae are typically present in fruit that have already been damaged. Because these fruit have already been damaged by some other cause, there is no management threshold.

Management Options

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Cultural control, specifically thorough, removal of damaged fruit, is the best and only recommended means to control native, non pest Drosophila.


Associate Professor and Extension Specialist

Publication date: July 9, 2014

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