The search for invasive pests

Dave Daubert
Invasive Pests #1

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is responsible for monitoring the presence and possible elimination of invasive species. The Ag Department has a group of volunteers who are called First Detectors work in the field and report the presence and magnitude of the problem of an invasive species. To work as a First Detector, I have to have information from the public on what they are seeing. My job is verify the invasive species and report to the Ag Department. My goal is to provide the public with what species to look for.

The first one is spotted winged drosophia or SWD.

This is a fruit fly that lays eggs on soft skin fruit, raspberries and grapes, for example. The native fruit fly lays eggs only on rotten or damaged fruit. The SWD only lays eggs on mature undamaged fruit. Carver County did have infestations last year. This new pest will pose significant challenges to small fruit producers since SWD has many generations per year.

If you would like more information, both the State Ag and University have extensive information on SWD. If you suspect a problem, you can contact me at (952) 442-2908 and ask for Dave. The next information article will be on Japanese beetles.


Dave Daubert is Carver-Scott Master Gardener. In addition to “Invasive Pests,” his “Tree Time” column is also an occasional feature of the Waconia Patriot.