Scientific name: Drosophila suzukii

What Is It?

Spotted wing drosophila is a small vinegar fly from East Asia that lays its eggs in softer, thin-skinned fruits, such as berries. A spotted wing drosophila are able to lay its eggs in healthy fruit that is still ripening, as opposed to other vinegar flies that only attack rotting fruit.

Is It Here Yet?

Yes. It has been in the Pacific Northwest since 2009.

Why Should I Care?

This fruit fly’s tendency to attack healthy fruit instead of rotting fruit makes it particularly problematic. Fruit infested with spotted wing drosophila larvae will rapidly become mushy and moldy. The damage done by these pests causes costly losses for fruit growers.

How Can We Stop It?

Spotted wing drosophila occur throughout Washington. To reduce damage, home gardeners and farmers may use pesticide treatments, apply physical barriers, sanitize their gardens, and reduce adjacent alternative hosts such as Himalayan blackberry.

What Are Its Characteristics?

  • Tan body, red eyes
  • Males have dark spots on the ends of their wings; females are more difficult to identify.
  • Larvae start small and typically go unnoticed until the fruit becomes rotten, but their presence may be indicated by small dark spots on fruits and rapid molding.
  • Small dark tan pupae often may be seen protruding from the surface of the infested fruit.