Cornell Team Fights Invasive Pest, Supports NY Berry Industry
Published:06 Sep.2019    Source:Department of Entomology

Dale Ila Riggs knew the pests were coming for her berries. It was summer 2012, and Riggs watched as the invasive spotted wing Drosophila, a type of fruit fly, descended on The Berry Patch, her 230-acre farm in eastern New York near the Massachusetts border.

Cornell researchers discovered spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) in New York state in fall 2011. By the next year, blueberry fields were swarmed by the insects. Growers lost up to 80% of their blueberry crop, and nearly all raspberry and blackberry crops were destroyed.