raspberry worm or maggot

parkville(8)July 19, 2014

I had been having a great year for raspberries until I found the white worm in the photo; approx 1/4 inch long, inside many berries picked two days ago. Not obvious until berries are picked and they don't even always come out when soaked in water to remove other pests. The plants themselves have been showing more withered fruit on the vine and a number of unusually small ripened berries.
I'm really not interested in eating the affected berries even if these critters aren't lethal. We're close to the end of berry season anyway. What's the best way to rid the patch of them and have healthy plants next year that produce fruit we can eat again (without the extra protein)? Organic pesticides? I don't mind cutting down the canes to the ground if that solves the problem but worried something may be burrowing in the soil.
also - can these wormy things get into the cucumbers or tomatoes that are just starting to be ready that are 5 to 10 feet away?
Thank you!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

I suspect the recently arrived Spotted wing drosophila, SWD.

It's a close relative of the nuisance fruit fly. but this one damages ripening fruits still on the plant.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Relatively recent--they have been in Oregon fruits for at least 5 years now. Your worm is very likely the above-mentioned SWD.

These flies (in the PNW) appear in numbers in early July, so earlier-ripening caneberries are not affected.

They are not causing your withering and undersized berries.

A salt water solution will cause them to emerge. So will putting them in the fridge or the freezer, then they can be picked, rinsed, or brushed off. Cooling also stops their feeding and growing. All of this is not 100% effective, if you require that.

Spinosad spray is an organic control.

Cutting the canes will not help. Putting out apple cider vinegar traps with a drop of unscented soap can reduce the numbers bothering the fruit.

The nearby cucumbers are safe and I haven't seen any reports of tomato damage, but I wouldn't put it past them in the future.

http://spottedwing.org/ has a lot of info from OSU ag.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:56AM
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Thanks for the replies and ideas.

I'll probably hit the plants with the organic spray AND build some traps.

Just wondering how much luck folks have had with homemade vs. store bought traps

Please cross your fingers that these evil SWDs stay in the raspberry patch; if they invade the tomatoes (which are so difficult to grow in the PNW and which are looking great and ready to start producing fruit) I will become a medieval monster.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:54AM
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...although most tomatoes in your region ripen late enough that the SWD population is in decline for the year. I have read of them going on grapes. All depends on the fruit's skin strength.

For traps, I use some small 8-ouce threaded-lid plastic cups, drill some 3/16" holes near the rim, add the liquids (you don't need more than an ounce or so per trap)(refresh the trap about once a week) and hang in a shady part of the berry patch. Re-usable year after year. Haven't tried store-bought, the homemade are very effective.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:41AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

This may be of interest --

Here is a link that might be useful: Recognize Fruit Damage from Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:03AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

This also -

Here is a link that might be useful: Protecting Garden Fruits from Spotted Wing Drosophila

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:04AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Thank you Jean. Very informative.
I'll be on the lookout for em'.
It seems a widespread control is almost hopeless with our Himalayan blackberries growing everywhere.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:44PM
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I am fighting this creature already three years. Last year it invaded even very sour sea buckthorn.
Traps help a little bit, but not all of them go to traps.
Flies are on fruits when they are almost ripe and I hate spray raspberries even with organic spinosad.
Picking all bad berries will prevent multiplying.
I am going to create cage with mosquitos netting next year. It's what I am doing to protect current bushes from gooseberry fly. I need to do it for strawberry as well. Mess.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:33AM
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Sorry to hear about the infestation of your sea buckthorn fruit; I grew those a number of years ago and tens of pounds of fruit can be involved.

Keep in mind that the fully-grown larvae drop to the ground and pupate overwinter near the original plants. Caging would not completely prevent an infestation next year unless the netting is gathered around the trunks near the ground.

Same goes for the gooseberry fly; these are pupating right now under your plants.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:16AM
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I have read that SWD overwinter as adult not in the soil.
I have managed to get rid of gooseberry fly with netting, but it's not so easy with raspberry because they need pollination. Will cover tomorrow sea buchthorn and need to think what to do with fall raspberry.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:38AM
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