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Chokecherry worms #271015 - Ask Extension


Chokecherry worms #271015

Asked August 18, 2015, 9:17 AM EDT

My husband and I picked wild chokecherries in Roseville Township, Trail County. We cleaned them, put them in gallon jars, added sugar and vodka to make "Chokecherry Bounce." After the jars sat for an hour or so, little white worms were coming out of the fruit and floating to the top. In almost 40 years of making this, we have never experienced this before. Our questions: What are they? How can we test the normal-looking fruit to see if they are infested before adding the sugar and vodka?

Traill County North Dakota

Expert Response

The spotted wing Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a small vinegar fly that was first confirmed in ND in 2013 as an invasive pest of fruits (raspberries, tart cherries, strawberries). The SWD lays its eggs in healthy, ripening fruits. Then, larvae hatch from eggs and feed on the fruit causing spoilage. Identification, life cycle, damage and pest management strategies of SWD are discussed.

Please go to the website below for a detailed description of SWD. As of right now there are no natural means of controlling the insect. To control it chemically is very difficult because of the many applications that would need to be made.

Jackie Buckley Replied August 24, 2015, 9:08 AM EDT

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