The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a particularly challenging pest for the berry sector due to its high egg-laying potential and end-of-season population explosion (near harvest time). Insecticides have limited ability to reach the larvae, which are buried in the fruit. In Québec, the battle against SWD generally involves repeated and alternating applications of insecticides that are also toxic to pollinators and, in some cases, pose significant risks to human health and the environment. The release of sterile insects is a promising and environmentally friendly pest control measure that can lessen the deleterious effects of SWD on berry crops. Furthermore, the Québec association for strawberry and raspberry producers (APFFQ) supports the development of this method as a research priority for the strawberry and raspberry sectors.
To follow up on the developmental work begun in 2014, we will
From 2018 to 2021
Pest, weed, and disease control
This project will encourage growers to adopt biological control methods and lead to reduced pesticide use.
The project’s overall goal is to slow the arrival of Spotted Wing Drosophila in crop plots using mass trapping at overwintering sites.
Researcher: Annabelle Firlej
Exploration of the potential of detecting water stress in lowbush blueberries using a thermal infrared imaging sensor installed on a drone.
Researcher: Carl Boivin
Developing and assessing the planting of flower strips in orchard inter-rows as an alternative to the application of insecticides.