Fruit Sanitation in Strawberry and SWD

Aug 19, 2022

I am currently underway with a field trial investigating the relationship between spotted wing drosophila and leak rot in strawberry.  The hypothesis is that the flies, which wound the fruit with their egg laying are also accelerating the spread of this wound and bruise loving fungus.  Both of these pests tend to appear at the same time, making this thinking of catalysis a reasonable one and worthy of the investment of time and effort of a big field trial in my mind.

One of the interesting things I am finding at the moment is that the distribution of spotted wing drosophila flies at this time is quite lumpy, in other words there might be a lot around one rotten fruit and then very few over the next tens of feet.  It is making for some uneven (and frustrating) sampling since my plots are only 25 foot long x four beds wide, but also opens the intriguing possibility that effective sanitation in the strawberry field might not be, initially at least, as onerous as many of us are thinking.

Stay tuned here, more to follow.


By Mark Bolda
Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries

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