Florida’s blueberry and strawberry crops provide billions of dollars of revenue for the state each year. They are some of Florida’s most important agriculture commodities. They are also two crops that are rather expensive to grow and so when danger approaches, such as with pests, farmers must be proactive.
The University of Florida is one of Florida agriculture’s best partners. An entire department is dedicated to supporting Florida agriculture. In a recent study, the team at UF identified a simple solution for monitoring one of the berry industry’s biggest pests, the spotted winged drosophila.
Using a simple mixture of yeast, sugar and water, berry growers can now keep tabs on these pests which cause millions of dollars in damage each year in states across the U.S. Last year, the pests cost Florida blueberry growers about $12 million.
The female insect cuts a slit in the fruit’s skin and lays her eggs there. They prefer thin-skinned fruit like blueberries and strawberries. The simple remedy pest control allows growers to know about the pests and the damage in time to take action.