Release of sterile spotted wing drosophila (Phase 1)

Annabelle Firlej, researcher

Annabelle Firlej

Description

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.

Objective(s)

To follow up on the developmental work begun in 2014, we will

  • determine the flight capacity and circadian rhythm of the emergence of sterile SWD adults; and
  • evaluate the efficiency of the initial releases on fall raspberry plots.

From 2018 to 2021

Project duration

Fruit production

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

This project will encourage growers to adopt biological control methods and lead to reduced pesticide use.

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