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Hungary: A new pest can cause terrible devastation to orchards

The insect species Drosophilia suzukii, commonly known as spotted wing drosophilia, is a new insect species that first popped up in Hungary in 2012. This invasive insect is native to Southeast Asia, and is especially dangerous to summer fruits, including berries, cherries, peaches and other fruit crops.

Drosophilia is now spreading in Europe and North America due to global trade and the interconnected nature of our world. In Hungary, it is especially dangerous to raspberries and strawberries, while apples and pears are the least vulnerable fruit crops.

The main destructive power of the spotted wing drosophilia lies in the insect’s capacity to not only attack rotting, damaged fruits but also healthy, growing ones. In the growing season, the window for an pesticide intervention and the harvest is very narrow while due to food safety and public health reasons, the waiting time after an intervention has to be observed.

Stakeholders and researchers report that the insect can, and does, unleash utter devastation on fruit crops. Fortunately, infestations in Hungary have so far been sporadic. Although this species cannot tolerate dry periods very much, in more humid weather it can carve out a niche for itself to then go on and destroy as much as 80-100% of the fruit crops in an area.

Source: Agroberichtenbuitenland

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