‘New’ Insect Species Damaging Missouri Fruit Crops

A species of fruit fly that has made its way to Missouri could threaten fruit in the state. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
A species of fruit fly that has made its way to Missouri could threaten fruit in the state. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A species of fly from Japan that was first spotted in California in 2008 has been sighted in Missouri and is already making an impact on regional fruit crops. The spotted wing drosophila lays its eggs in fruits, including cherries, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and grapes.

Because the larve feed under fruit’s skin, farmers often don’t know their crops are affected until it’s too late. Farmers market prices of certain fruits could rise as a result of damage from the fly.

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