Massachusetts
Introduced Pests Outreach Project
Pest Alert: Swede midge update (February 27, 2007)

Pest Alert: Swede midge update (February 27, 2007)

The swede midge is an introduced pest of brassicas that has been found in 13 counties in western New York and in 23 counties in Ontario and 26 counties in Quebec, Canada. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and UMass have been working collaboratively to survey for this pest in Massachusetts as part of the USDA, APHIS Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). In 2005 a single male swede midge was found in a pheromone trap in the Northampton community garden. After Cornell University confirmed the identity of the insect visually and with PCR and DNA sequencing, more traps were deployed and hosts plants were examined for signs of damage, larvae, or eggs. We found no further specimens to send to the USDA insect identifier for verification in 2005. As a precaution MDAR asked gardeners not to move soil and crucifers outside the community garden except for consumption.

In 2006 we put out pheromone traps again at 8 farms and 4 community gardens. We recovered no swede midge even at the Northampton community garden. In 2007 we will continue monitoring the community garden with pheromone traps to determine if the swede midge is established there or if we detected a transient population in 2005.

If you suspect swede midge damage in your fields, please email Jennifer Forman Orth or call (617) 626-1735. Early detection of this pest will allow growers to implement management strategies to keep population levels low and take measures to prevent further spread of swede midge. For more detailed information on swede midge and photos of damage caused by this insect visit our website (http://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/swedemidge.html).

The pest alert is from the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project, a collaborative project between the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program aimed at preventing the establishment of new pathogens and pests in Massachusetts. Visit the project website (http://www.massnrc.org/pests) for more information on Swede midge and other emerging pests or to subscribe and unsubscribe for pest alerts.


Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.