When does SWD arrive for you?

I’ve having them for the first time here North Georgia 7b. They are like something out of the zombie apocalypse. They’ve been here at least since the beginning of month is that typical? I thought they came later although maybe a mild winter had something to do with it? The only blackberry ripe before they came was about 50% of the prime ark freedom crop. Now I have to see if I can battle them for all my other blackberries. I’m going to set out a bunch of hummingbird feeders as I’ve heard some success with this method on a FB berry group I use.

These things are nasty. I hope they are allowed to do this soon:


In this area,Western Washington,they are around when the Himalayan Blackberries ripen,sometime later in August.Maybe it’s temperature related.bb

Usually notice them in September here. Edit: “Here” being Kentucky 6b.

For the past few years in Portland, I see some in my traps by 1 July.

By what process would hummingbird feeders kill SWD??

I’m trying to put out more hummingbird feeders this year, too. @LarryGene here’s a brief write-up about hummingbirds as a potential SWD control.

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Thanks for the link; it looks like with a saturation of feeders, it may be a 50% control for SWD. Not a commercial solution, but perhaps an aid for the home grower.

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On the fb group I mentioned one grower said his feeders resulted in him not having to spray which was 100$ a spray for him so a smaller size operation. He may have a higher density of feeders than the Cornell article.

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Be aware that hummingbird feeders require cleaning and refilling frequently, or the sugar water turns pukey. Even if it appears no birds have visited the feeders, you must clean them. I carry jugs of water and a jug of sugar water, plus a dish-washing brush with me around the orchard so I can scrub and rinse each feeder before refilling it. I have found that a plastic feeder available at Walmart with little 3/8 inch or so slots in them instead of the fake flowers work best. The black bugs can’t get into them. I make ant guards by cutting off plastic vitamin or shampoo bottles, then heating a section of coat hanger wire in the stove burner flame. Poke that through the plastic in the center of the bottom. Seal it with hot glue. Bend a hook in the top and bottom of the wire. Hang the ant guard from a branch or shepard’s hook, then hang the feeder below that. The nectar keeps a little better if the feeder is hanging in the shade. In hot weather it will need replacing every couple days. It takes me about an hour to clean and fill my 16 feeders I have out on an acre or so. I have not actually seen SWDs, but have heard they have reached this area (near St. Paul). After three years, I still only see about two or three hummingbirds, if any, at any one time there, but I figure every little bit helps. I have honeyberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, and blackberries to protect. Like anything else, this method requires time and diligence in regular mantenance.


I forgot to mention to fill the ant guard with water.

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Yeah the ones I ordered are supposed to be easy clean as I knew that would be regular chore. One has a built in ant guard. I’ve heard it’s best to put up when they are migrating so I don’t know if I missed the boat on em. I see them occasionally feeding on flowers in my yard.

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SWD is thick here. I’ve had them in sour cherries, black raspberries, yellow raspberries, elderberries and fall red raspberries…i haven’t noticed them in blueberries, gooseberries or stonefruit. I think they overwinter here or they get brought up during warm south winds or something. I’m going to spray my raspberries with erythritol before they ripen…probably in the next few days.

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Last year, the first day I noticed any SWD here (west PA) was on July 9th from a few larva in a raspberry. I don’t notice them on the wild black raspberries since they ripen in late June-early July, but do notice them on the blackberries that ripen in mid July onwards. After that they go after the wild elderberries, black cherries, and autumnberries, among others. Never found any on my blueberries.

Spinosad seemed like it helped when the population was still low but quickly became near ineffective here. There are too many wild berry-producing plants here, so the population can’t be controlled by spraying my cultivated berries.

Organza bags did work pretty well for me last year, though. They are annoying and time-consuming to take off and put on each time you want to pick berries, but so was checking each individual berry to see if it was infected and then losing 95% in August-September. The bags were very effective if put on a cluster at the right time (after pollination and before they turn pink).