Situation of Drosophila suzukii in Belgium
Following the first observation of 1 male Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae – EPPO A2 List) in Belgium in November 2011 (see EPPO RS 2011/2011, RS 2012/10), an official survey was initiated in mid-March 2012 by the Belgian NPPO. In total, 30 traps were placed in fields of several soft fruit species, and 15 traps were placed in storage and packaging houses. In parallel, monitoring programmes were initiated by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) together with the Walloon Organisation of Strawberry Growers (6 traps), and by the Research Station for Fruit Growing (2 traps in the south of the province of Limburg). The results of the trapping programme are presented below. The identity of the specimens caught was confirmed by the National Reference Laboratory for Entomology.
- In January 2012: 1 male was caught in a light trap. This trap was located in a partly open former aviary containing bovine manure samples which had been collected near Gembloux (Namur province) and stored (since 2011-08-23) for a CRA-W research project on coprophagous insects. D. suzukii was caught just before a very cold period and follow up monitoring was negative.
- In July 2012: 1 male was caught in a trap placed in a sweet cherry (Prunus avium) orchard belonging to CRA-W in Gembloux within the framework of the monitoring project. No cherries were present at the time of finding.
- In August 2012: a total of 8 males and 3 females were caught in a trap in a raspberry production site in Gembloux (CRA-W). Another male specimen was caught at the same location in a trap located close to a compost heap. In addition, the official NPPO survey detected 3 males which were caught in a neglected cherry orchard in Zoutleeuw (province of Vlaams-Brabant). Because developing larvae were detected in some fruits, further investigations of the cherries found in the orchard (late season variety) and yellow/red plums in a neighbouring field are ongoing.
Despite these captures, no increase in fruit damage or production loss was observed. No official control measures were taken, but the survey is continuing and the horticulturual sector is being kept informed of the results. The owner of the field where the insects were trapped was officially recommended to remove and destroy the remaining fruits.
The pest status of Drosophila suzukii in Belgium is officially declared as: Present, few occurrences, under surveillance.
NPPO of Belgium (2012-09).