Scientists say there’s a new threat to crops in East Tennessee.
The Drosophila suzukii or spotted-wing drosophila, is a fruit fly, and a threat to Eastern Tennessee crops, especially berries.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that University of Tennessee at Knoxville entomology professor Frank Hale says scientists don’t know much about the insect, which is native to Japan and came to the United States in 2008 via California in a batch of imported fruit. Hale says the rapid spread of the fly isn’t slowing, and the fly’s reproduction rates are at their highest in the fall.
This year, the fruit flies have appeared in more than 10 East Tennessee counties and some farmers have lost entire crops.