Spotted Wing Drosophila Habitat

In the region where I am looking for a site for blueberry production, mostly crop agriculture is done and nearest woodland is miles away. Very few fruit growing is practiced. Do you think, there is a strong link between SWD habitat and the type of predominant agriculture done in the neighborhood or not?

And what about proximity to a large pond, would it have any effect on these flies?

I have talked with people that are surrounded by miles of corn soybean agriculture, that have few if any SWD. Just no host plants for many miles.
Here there are so many wild host plants that by mid summer I am overwhelmed by them.
Only the earliest berrys are relatively free of them.
I think it’s the wild raspberry ,elder ,black cherry , etc. where they build up populations.
So yes, the farther you are away from host plants the better off you would be
Spray drift from herbicides could be a big problem in the corn / soy belt
Pond , not a problem


Listen carefully to @Hillbillyhort when he warns you about drift if you are surrounded by row crops like corn, soybean, etc. Don’t be fooled into thinking about drift in terms of the few feet that your typical round-up spray can drift. Keep in mind that most row crop farmers use a micro-droplet (think fog) form of 2, 4-D that can and will drift for hundreds and in some cases THOUSANDS of feet (really, just google things like “2,4-D drift lawsuit”). As someone who personally had almost 20% of my 5-6 year old fruit trees killed or permanently damaged by a 2, 4-D drift from a neighbor who was spraying his crops, I can tell you it is a concern you need to take seriously!


[quote=“thecityman, post:4, topic:19432”]

(" THOUSANDS of feet (really, ")
Or more like many miles.
The farmers out there have such large acreage to cover in such a short period of Time, they cannot stop just because it’s windy.
This can carry the spray many miles.
And it’s not just one guy spaying once on one windy day. It’s thousands of farmers on many days.over a vast area.and as we know the wind blows many different directions.
I worked in Iowa many years ago , and was amazed at the herbicide damage in the middle of most towns on the street trees and everything.
In those days it was Atrizine damage , now likely glyphosate .
Although big farm county You rarely see good gardens , maybe to much drift ?

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You are so right. I didn’t say miles because so many people just don’t believe it, but I know for 100% fact that it can go over a mile. When I got hit- and some of my trees were about 1000 feet inside my property line- I did a lot of research on the issue. During that research, I came across several lawsuits that had been filed against spray drifting farmers. One that was especially shocking to me involved a nut tree orchard…I am pretty sure it was a commercial pecan farm but could have been other nuts. Anyway it was a FULL MILE from the place where the 2, 4-D fog had been sprayed, and it killed or ruined hundreds of mature pecan trees. We know how long it takes pecan trees to reach maturity and how valuable they are once they get to maturity. This was a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the insurance company of the farmer who sprayed that junk. The case was still in progress when I read about it.

Anyway, just wanted to confirm once again how right @Hillbillyhort is as well as use this opportunity to warn everyone about the potential hazard of spray drift to other trees. And of course when my property got hit so hard and all those trees killed and damaged, it also went all over my farm animals, my house, my car, etc. I never suffered any obvious health problems from it but it isn’t very comforting knowing my entire property and myself and my home got covered in a poison strong enough to kill trees!


I remember reading study’s where they documented dust from the gobi dessert in China making it to the west coast of the U.S.
Also dust from Africa making it to the east coast.U.S.
So yes, MILES !
Makes you want to crawl under a rock ?

Acute toxicity ( death of a plant ) is one thing.
But I would bet that all of us are experiencing some low level exposure to many things. Maybe not enough to identify a cause ,or source .
( maybe put on your tin foil hat befor you crawl under the rock ? ! )
The idea here is we are “All Down wind”
And we are ALL on the other side of the fence row.
What comes around – goes around .
Be carful out there
Love thy neighbor
Be a good neighbor
We " are all "neighbors
Truly global
Ok,… All together now… everybody be nice !


SWD swarms soft fruit here by Aug., but their populations don’t build up until the end of blueberry season. Of course, because my plants are only for my own use, they aren’t stored long- what isn’t quickly eaten is frozen. Maybe at some point they contain eggs, but never get a chance to hatch. My late summer raspberries swarm with them, but I’ve not noticed any worms in fruit I eat.

@ alan
(“but I’ve not noticed any worms in fruit I eat”)
But have you noticed a difference in flavor ?
Here ,I used to let soft fruit get dead ripe, when they develop different , more complex flavors that lets you know it’s really ripe.
Now , I have to pick many things just as soon as they are start to ripen.
Never able to let them hang and get dead ripe.
If left hanging to long they tast like fruit fly larva
I don’t mind eating bugs, as long as they tast good :grinning:
Also some fruit that tastes good fresh , I find if I freeze it. I can taste the fruit flys.

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Hasn’t been a problem for me- but I don’t eat many raspberries. Hope you haven’t set it in my mind so things start tasting funny. They swarm my peaches and I pick them a day before they are soft.

although I’ve never seen swd this far north, maybe why i don’t is i freeze my fruit as soon as i pick and store in freezer bags.

just sharing the answer from : “You should chose the area away from the forest in full sun. SWD have many alternate hosts including many native fruits. They also thrive in shaded conditions better than in open, full sun.”