CORVALLIS, Ore., Oct. 16 (UPI) — An invasive fruit fly spotted last year in California has now been found in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, researchers said.
The Spotted Wing Drosophilia ruined about one-third of California’s cherry crop from Davis to Modesto this year, and as much as 80 percent of Oregon’s Willamette Valley peach crop, Oregon State University entomologist Amy Dreves said.
“This is an insect that, up to last year, had never been seen in the continental United States,” she said. “Now, suddenly, it is showing up in lots of places.”
The tiny fly also has been found in blueberries, grapes, raspberries, plums and blackberries in California, Oregon, Washington, and as far north as Abbotsford, British Columbia, Dreves said.
The fly, native to Japan and parts of Southeast Asia, was introduced to Hawaii in the 1980s. The fly presents a significant economic threat to fruit growers, especially if it proves capable of over-wintering in rotting fruit in orchards and backyards, Dreves said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International