New Trap Hits the Spots (Spotted Wing Drosophila)

A trap that allows blueberry growers to monitor, and possibly even mass-catch, spotted wing drosophila (SWD) flies has recently become available through Contech Enterprises, Inc. out of British Columbia.

Last year researchers, including the science team at Contech, and pest management specialists modified the company’s retail kitchen trap of the same dimensions into a SWD trap and have since found good results in Utah and Washington, reports John Borden, chief scientific officer at Contech.

The trap has also proven itself to the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (counterpart to USDA in the States).

Cylindrically shaped, the 5-inch high trap hangs from blueberry branches. SWD flies, both male and female, can be viewed in the trap by unscrewing the lid. Captured flies are attracted away from the two entry ports on either side of the trap by a liquid lure, which must be concocted by users, and sun light shining through the trap’s see-through wall at the bottom of the trap.

Unlike other traps that use pheromones to attract insects, the SWD trap first found success with apple cider vinegar as bait. Later, Contech found that apple cider vinegar and yeast in a 100 to1 ratio proved better than cider alone.

Borden said that the USDA lab in Wapato, Washington found that wine works “very well,” too. And, according to a student on a budget doing graduate work in Illinois, cheap wine will do, too.

Trap density per acre depends on whether or not the traps are being used for monitoring or, in the case of organic applications, mass trapping SWD. “The responsibility for developing recommendations for use on various crops will lie with pest management researchers, extension specialists and consultants,” Borden said. “You have some very good ones in Oregon.”

Dr. Sheila Fitzpatrick of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said that traps are not competitive with ripe fruit, which means that female Drosophila flies will be more attracted to ripe blueberries and not the lure in the trap.

Spotted wing drosophila flies (pronounced droh-SOPH-uh-luh)), which are native to Asia, were first found in North America in 2008. It has since become a major problem in numerous small fruits along the West Coast and other U.S. states. Only the male has spots on its wings.

Female SWD, which have a serrated ovipositor and are attracted to the traps more than males during early ripening, lay their eggs in thin-skinned fruit. Infected fruits quickly develop soft spots and rot.

A box of 12 traps costs $33, or $2.75 per trap. With an order of four or more boxes there is a $3-per box discount.
For more information, go to or call 1-800-767-8658.


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New Trap Hits
the Spots
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Free Berry Vendor Space Available


Oregon Blueberry Commission • P.O. Box 3366 • Salem, Oregon 97302
Paid for by the Oregon Blueberry Commission, an agency of the State of Oregon.