Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Optimizing caneberry spray coverage for Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) management on diversified fruit farms.

Abstract

Spray coverage may influence the efficacy of insecticides targeting the invasive vinegar fly Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura), a primary pest of raspberries and blackberries. In commercially managed caneberries, spray coverage is typically lowest in the inner and lower plant canopy, regions that overlap with higher levels of adult D. suzukii activity. To understand how spray coverage of fruit impacts efficacy against D. suzukii, laboratory bioassays were conducted using raspberries. In laboratory bioassays, higher spray coverage did not impact larval infestation rates but did increase adult mortality, indicating that flies can avoid a lethal dose of insecticide when applications do not achieve adequate coverage. We also evaluated how carrier water volume impacts spray coverage patterns throughout the canopy of raspberry and blackberry plants using both airblast and CO2 backpack sprayers. Increasing carrier water volume generally improved spray coverage in the lower plant canopy. However, effects in the upper plant canopy were inconsistent and varied between sprayer types. In addition to carrier water volume, other approaches, including adjusting the pesticide sprayer equipment used and/or sprayer calibration, should also be explored to improve coverage. Growers should evaluate spray coverage in their caneberries to identify and troubleshoot coverage issues. Results from this study indicate that taking the time to optimize this aspect of pesticide application may improve chemical management of D. suzukii and will likely also improve control of other important caneberry pests.