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New Fruit Fly Attacks Fresh Fruit

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Some unwanted visitors may be making their way into your kitchen as a new kind of fruit fly is making Minnesota home.

This new pest goes after fresh fruit, unlike standard fruit flies that attack decaying fruits and veggies.

While it’s not clear just how widespread the flies are in Minnesota, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed the flies in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.

“The new fruit pest is called spotted wing drosophila fruit fly,” said University of Minnesota Entomology Professor Stephen Kells.

They’re also known as SWD.

Kells said the pests are native to Asia and were first round in 2008 in California. They were just spotted for the first time last month in Minnesota.

“By chance, it could have been shipped with refrigerated fruits and vegetables,” Kells said.

Entomologists say it may be difficult to tell if the flies in your kitchen are just your standard fruit flies, or the new kind.

With an SDW infestation, two flies can turn into 200 in a matter of days.

“It only takes five to seven days for you to get a whole bunch of flies once a fruit fly has laid its eggs in these fruits and vegetables,” Kells said.

SWD lay eggs directly under the skin of the fruit.

“You’re going to see a little dimple on the fruit and that’s when it starts to decay, as the insects start to grow,” Kells said.

Decay is shown by extensive bruising, and even ripped fruit skin. Apples, berries, cherries and veggies are targets.

Kells added that there’s no reason to think they’ll harm one’s health, however.

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