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Published August 15 2012

New fruit pest confirmed in Minnesota

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has confirmed a new fruit pest in the state.

It's the spotted wing drosophila, or SWD.

The invasive pest originated in Asia and was first detected in California in 2008. Since then the pest has spread to several western and eastern states.

Members of the public reported the flies to the Minnesota agriculture department. A homeowner in Hennepin County found the flies in a trap placed near a raspberry patch. Maggots were found in wild raspberries picked in Ramsey County.

The fly looks similar to small fruit flies found on overripe bananas. But SWD feed on healthy, ripening fruits such as raspberries, blackberries and cherries.

Anyone who finds small, white maggots in what was healthy fruit is asked to call the state agriculture department.