Portland media interview Handley on fruit flies damaging strawberries

The Portland Press HeraldWGME (CBS 13 in Portland) and WMTW (ABC 8 in Portland) interviewed David Handley, a vegetable and small fruit specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, on the abundance of fruit flies arriving early to berry farms in Maine. Some strawberry fields have closed their fields down before the end of the season and reported an influx of a species Handley called the spotted wing drosophila, which first appeared in 2011 and has been a problem for berry growers ever since. This year is unusual, he said, because the fruit fly population doesn’t typically build up until later in the year during blueberry, raspberry and blackberry harvesting. The mild winter and warm spring temperatures encouraged them to populate early.