Pest Alert: Update on swede midge in Massachusetts (December 14, 2005)
The swede midge is an introduced pest of brassicas
that has been found in 6 counties in western New York
and in 18 counties in Ontario and 20 counties in Quebec,
Canada. Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
and UMass have been working collaboratively to survey
for this pest in Massachusetts as part of the USDA,
APHIS Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS).
Two suspect swede midge specimens were captured in
Hampshire County this summer. The suspect swede midge
specimens were screened visually and with PCR by Dr.
Tony Shelton’s lab at Cornell University. One
specimen caught in a Northampton garden with mixed
brassica species was confirmed to be swede midge by
DNA sequencing done at Cornell University. The other
suspect specimen from a Hadley vegetable farm was
NOT swede midge. Massachusetts Department of Agricultural
Resources found no further specimens to send to the
USDA insect identifier for verification. Massachusetts
Department of Agricultural Resources will be working
with the garden owners to prevent the movement of
swede midge via soil or plant material.
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 future updates visit our website: (www.massnrc.org/pests).
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
for more information on Swede
midge and other emerging pests or to subscribe
and unsubscribe for pest alerts.