Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvae (Maggots) – in Raspberry, Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardener

How to deal with raspberry fly?

Q: I am completely grossed out. I am certain I have been feasting on maggots and did not realize it. Here is the whole story. Two years ago my husband planted raspberry and blackberry bushes. This year they are full of fruit. I harvested the raspberries and noticed that some fruit have white worms in them. So I opened each raspberry to inspect them and I threw away bad ones. I made raspberry freezer jam and I just looked at it and there are frozen worms on the surface of the jam. I’m sure I’ve eaten a few of them. Should I cut them down, take off all berries and dispose of them or what?

A: I think you have spotted some larvae of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD).

This is a new pest in the Southeast. It attacks soft fruit like raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and blueberry. The fly lays eggs in the ripening fruit. You don’t notice the larvae until later.

Some gardeners say that soaking the fruit in salt water will get most of the larvae out.

In the future, spray susceptible fruit with spinosad (click for sources) as it is developing. Stop spraying three days before harvest.

I wouldn’t destroy the plants….just deal with the insect as noted.


The most common pest is the raspberry beetle and this is treatable. Next is the cane midge which damages the canes but not enough to cause a problem by themselves. However they open up the canes to other diseases which can cause raspberries major health problems.


Picture courtesy of reader Peter L.

Lower down we show a picture of the caterpillar which does all the damage. Some gardeners see the caterpillars but many report seeing none or only a few. Three factors account for the lack of a sighting:

  1. The caterpillars exist almost exclusively on the undersides of the leaves not on the upper surface. This is a natural defence mechanism, hiding themselves from the unwanted attention of birds which will eat them.
  2. They damage the leaves so quickly, stripping the lower leaves of an entire plant in a day or so, that they fall to the ground before you notice them. Only the damage is clear to see.
  3. They have two to three lifecycles within a year depending on weather conditions. The first lifecycle is usually the least damaging. The damage is there, as are the caterpillars, but in many cases not sufficiently serious to attract much attention.

The second lifecycle is almost always the most serious and the speediest. If you watch this pest in action real time, only then will you understand that 5 caterpillars on a single plant can reduce many of the leaves to almost nothing in 48 hours. They just munch, munch and munch the leaves 24 hours a day.

The Raspberry Sawfly caterpillar

The life cycle of the Raspberry Sawfly is as follows:

    The larvae overwinter just below the soil surface surrounding the plants. If you can turn the soil over occasionally in late winter to early spring the birds may well feed on the larvae.

  • When the soil warms up in spring the true sawflies emerge from the larvae and the first generation of the year is born.
  • The sawflies lay eggs on the underside of the leaves typically along the edges of leaf veins. They are tiny, about 2mm, light green and translucent. If you spot any of these squash them with your fingers.
  • Two weeks later caterpillars will emerge from the eggs and these are the ones which eat the leaves. If you see any, pick them off and throw them away.
  • A couple of weeks later they fall to the ground, burrow slightly underground and the life cycle starts again. Two or three life cycles per year is normal depending on weather conditions.
  • There are insecticides available to kill sawflies, the most common being Westland Resolva Bug Killer containing Lambda-cyhalothrin although you need to get the timing spot on. Read the container for instructions.


    The life cycle is completed when, in mid summer, the raspberry beetle grubs fall onto the ground and overwinter there just under the soil surface ready to emerge next year as raspberry beetles.

    Identifying raspberry beetles damage is easy, but unfortunately it occurs too late to prevent damage to the current year’s crop of raspberries. The first sign is of the raspberries being damaged and not forming correctly. Further examination of damaged fruit will reveal the grubs eating their way into the centre of the fruit.

    We suggest not going down the chemical spraying route because the damage to other pollinating insects will be unavoidable. Also, the range of chemical sprays available to the amateur gardener is only partially successful in killing these beetles.

    Our solution is threefold and attacks the lifecycle of the raspberry beetle at its most vulnerable stages. First, be sure to pick up all fallen fruit and dispose of it as soon as possible. This will prevent the beetles from laying any eggs on fruit at ground level.

    Next, as soon as you identify the pests, remove all the top mulch and burn it. Cut all the canes to ground level and remove any trace of the canes and fruit — burn them. For the rest of the season up till about October, when the soil is dry, repeatedly hoe it. The objective is to expose any grubs in the soil to the elements and give them the least chance of surviving the summer and autumn as possible. At the same time this will also expose the grubs to birds who love to eat them.

    The above two steps will have removed any grubs still feeding on the raspberry fruit and deprived them of their source of food. It will also disturb any grubs in the soil and expose them to the birds. The final step in eradicating the raspberry beetle is to prevent any beetles emerging from grubs surviving in the soil next year.

    The solution is to line the whole raspberry patch area with four or five layers of newspaper, a cheap solution to a big problem. Then cover the newspapers with organic material such as wood chippings, compost or grass clippings. The newspaper and the covering will prevent any raspberry beetles emerging next year. Not only that, they will keep also keep the roots moist over the next couple of years.


    The signs of Cane Midge are small brown marks on the raspberry canes, almost exclusively on young canes and only up to 30cm / 1ft high on the cane. The reason is that Cane Midge cannot fly well and tend to lay eggs just above soil level.

    Cane Midge by themselves cause only minor damage to raspberry canes but they do cause damage which allows entry to canes of several forms of fungus. These fungi are generally referred to as Spur Blight and Cane Blight. It is these fungi which cause significant damage. The canes are infected and then grow irregularly producing a very poor raspberry crop. Signs of Spur Blight and Cane Blight are brown wounds on the canes which occur all over the canes, not just lower levels.

    There is no cure for Cane Midge nor for Spur Blight and Cane Blight. Even commercial growers are fast running out of effective pesticides, and none of these are available to the amateur gardener. Infected canes should be dug up and burnt.

    Although several erudite articles have been written concerning these pests none seems to have addressed the question of how Cane Midge initially attack a crop of raspberries. It seems likely that the Cane Midges are introduced by planting already infected canes. So, take a careful look at the health of new raspberry canes and burn any which show signs of infection.

    Curing an attack of cane midge is not very well documented because in a commercial situation it is almost impossible to eradicate. However from an amateur gardener’s perspective there does remain the question of removing and burning an infected crop and then re-planting on the same ground.

    The little solid evidence that exists shows that if the raspberry plants are removed in spring and then new crops are planted in autumn, the new plants will be considerably healthier. However, there is no evidence that the midges will be eradicated completely. This is based on trials held in Sweden where new raspberry shoots were removed entirely, leaving only one year old shoots.

    This resulted in a vastly reduced incidence of cane midges but not a total eradication. Having read all the literature available it would seem that replanting in the same area where a previous attack has occurred should only be undertaken after 18 months. There is no evidence to suggest that the midges can exist in the soil after two years has elapsed.


    If this cures the problem, apply the Sequestrene next year because it is not a permanent solution. The only permanent solution is to increase the acidity of the soil so that iron can more easily be taken up by the raspberry bushes.

    If older leaves are most affected, suspect a magnesium deficiency. The long-term solution to a magnesium deficiency is to add Dolomite limestone (readily available at garden centres) to the soil at the dose recommended on the package. Do not exceed the dose because doing so can result in too much calcium which in turn inhibits the roots ability to absorb the magnesium. Dolomite limestone is a slow release product which lasts for a long time in the ground.

    A more immediate remedy for magnesium deficiency is to spray the foliage with a solution of water and Epsom Salts. The ratio is 20g of Epsom Salts added to a litre of water and a few drop of washing liquid will help the spray to stay on the leaves. Spray again after a fortnight.


    Virus infections initially show yellow leaves / green veins, but they will also begin to show signs of stunted growth and poor cropping over a couple years. If left untreated the bushes will eventually die out.


    If your raspberry bushes are significantly younger, yellowing leaves could possibly be caused by cane midge (see here) but there will be additional signs as well. Raspberry Root Rot could also be the problem, but there will be other symptoms. The fruit will either fail to form or be very small, stems will be short and generally look unhealthy.

    Root rot is best diagnosed by digging up a plant and examining the roots. They will look unhealthy and, as the name suggests, rotting. They will also have red marks on them where the fungus has initially entered the plant.


    In our experience however, birds do not eat raspberries, they have never affected our crop and we have never met anyone who has had a problem with them. Indeed, original and informed articles on the internet do not mention birds as a problem for raspberries.

    See one of our readers comments (dated 11th July 2016) at the end of this article for a different perspective on birds eating raspberries.

    However, if you have a problem with birds then the only real solution is a fruit cage or some other form of protective netting. Click here for our article on the benefits and pitfalls surrounding fruit cages.


    A raspberry cane with Raspberry Root Rot
    (click to enlarge)

    Leaves affected by Raspberry Root Rot
    (click picture to enlarge)

    The causes of Raspberry Root Rot are:

    • Heavy ground such as clay
    • Ground which is water logged, especially in early to mid spring
    • These ground conditions encourage the fungus to grow and spread from one plant to another
    • This is a soil borne fungus-like infection
    • The infection can remain in the soil for several years after removing infected plants

    The technical name for Raspberry Root rot is Phytophthora albi and it occurs around the world. Because the infection is caused by bad soil conditions there is no practical cure for the amateur gardener, prevention is the key. If your plants are affected by this infection, dig them up, burn them and plant any new raspberry canes in a better position.

    Avoid planting in heavy or water logged soils. Where this is not possible plant them in raised beds about 30cm high filled with soil that drains well.


    Date: 11 July 2016 From: Jo
    I would like to thank you for your article on raspberries and found it both informative and helpful. However, the local blackbirds and thrushes love the raspberry fruit that is just above ground level. I was picking raspberries on one side of my bushes, and birdie was on the other side, beneath the bush thinking that I hadn’t noticed her/him. I watched as it tugged at a raspberry. Half came off, then after another tug, so did the other half. They are getting much too clever. This has happened just the past couple of years, but there is lots of fruit for me, and them as they can’t get to the ones higher up. The smaller birds have had a go, but never manage it.

    Hope you don’t mind me slightly challenging your bit about the birds and raspberries!

    Date: 24 April 2016 From: Jill
    My raspberries have cane blight and need to be removed now. If I replant in Autumn will the midges still be in the soil and attack the new canes, or should I completely replace the soil before replanting?

    ANSWER: I have updated the Cane Midge / Blight section to include the latest information available to answer this question.

    Date: 28 September 2015 From: Geoff L
    My raspberry plant has been attacked by sawfly. If I now leave it until next year will the plant regenerate itself with fresh leaves?

    ANSWER: Almost certainly it will grow back next year. However, the larvae will overwinter in the soil and begin their attack next year. So keep an eye out for caterpillars on the underside of the leaves next year. It may also pay off to gently loosen and turn over the top soil around the plant — not too deep though because the roots are shallow. The birds may well eat some of the disturbed larvae.

    Date: 11 May 2015 From: Mike
    What is causing lots of small holes in my raspberry leaves? Can’t see any caterpillars or insects, help!

    ANSWER: Several readers have reported this problem and we have added a section above entitled «Raspberry Sawfly». Two pictures sent in by Peter L have been used to illustrate the damage and the caterpillar.

    We have temporarily disabled more questions because we are unable to cope with the workload of answering them at the moment. We are seeking more staff to help with this problem.


    Tips for Making it Through Nicotine Withdrawal

    Articles On Nicotine Withdrawal

    Nicotine Withdrawal

    Nicotine Withdrawal — Tips for Making it Through Nicotine Withdrawal

    Going through nicotine withdrawal can be tough. Because smoking affects so many parts of your body, nicotine withdrawal involves physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. You’ll have intense cravings for a cigarette. You’ll be angry, irritable, and restless. You’ll have headaches and a cough. You’ll be tired but won’t be able to sleep.

    But hang in there! The worst of it lasts only a few weeks. When it ends, the nicotine will be out of your system. You’ll be healthier than you’ve been in a long time.

    Before you quit, it’s wise to have a plan for getting through these withdrawals. You’ll have an easier time if you’re mentally prepared and have some strategies for how to deal with your symptoms.

    Know What to Expect

    Anyone who’s quit (or tried to quit) smoking will tell you that the first week of withdrawal is the worst. In the three to four days that your body is clearing out the nicotine from that final cigarette, you will feel physically terrible — and your mental state and emotions will be all over the map.

    But it will get better after that. You’ll improve physically, and your mental symptoms will also start to go away over the next few weeks.

    During nicotine withdrawal, you may have:

    You might not have all of these symptoms, and you might find that some are easier to handle than others. But you should be aware of them so they don’t take you by surprise.

    Some symptoms, such as headaches and cough, you’ll just have to power through. But you can take an active role in ensuring that you survive the others.

    How to Deal with Cravings

    Cravings are the longest-lasting and strongest withdrawal symptom. They can start within 30 minutes of your final cigarette, as the nicotine starts to wear off and your body wants more.

    The worst of the physical cravings will be over in a few days, when all the nicotine has left your system. But then come the mental cravings, which can last for a few weeks.

    Take it one step at a time. Try not to worry about how you’ll get through the next few weeks. Each craving should last only 15 to 20 minutes. There are a lot of ways to outlast a craving, so it pays to keep a mental list of things you can do, like:

    • Keep your mouth busy with gum, hard candy, and crunchy (healthy) food
    • Use nicotine replacement therapy, like gum, lozenges, or the patch
    • Go for a walk or do some quick exercises when a craving hits
    • Head to a public place where you can’t smoke
    • Call or text a friend
    • Take deep breaths
    • Start a new routine for times when you usually smoke
    • Avoid triggers that make you want to smoke, like alcohol, caffeine, or people you know who still smoke
    • Remember why you quit


    Handling Other Withdrawal Symptoms

    Nicotine replacement therapy, aside from helping with cravings, can also ease other symptoms by giving a small hit of nicotine without the other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes.

    Chewing nicotine gum or sucking on a lozenge might help when you’re stressed-out or feeling anxious.

    It helps to stay busy when you’re trying to get through a craving. But slowing down is also a good idea. Try yoga, meditation, and deep breathing when withdrawal starts to get to you.

    Cigarettes contain chemicals that curb your appetite, so food cravings are also a big part of withdrawal. It’s common to gain 5 to 10 pounds in the first few weeks. Eating can also become an activity that helps you deal with nicotine cravings. Be mindful of this and keep healthy snacks on hand.

    Above all, stay focused on the big picture and remember that withdrawal will soon be in the past.


    Quit Smoking Community: “Nicotine Withdrawal Timeline.” “How to Manage Cravings,” “Managing Withdrawal,” “Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy.”

    National Cancer Institute. “How to Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide to Quit Smoking.”

    Cyber Monday Raspberry Pi and Maker Deals: Cases, Boards, Accessories and More

    By Ash Puckett 03 December 2019

    This is your chance to stock up on Raspberry Pi essentials.

    More Cyber Monday 2019 Deal Roundups

    The internet is overflowing with Cyber Monday tech deals—and the Raspberry Pi community is on the lookout to save money, just like everyone else. Pi lovers and makers alike are on the hunt for affordable hardware to fuel their tiny PC passion. We’ve got you covered this Cyber Monday with all of the best Raspberry Pi and Pi accessory deals.

    Not only is this is a good time to stock up on essentials like solder and jumper wires, but it’s also a good time to grab a few Pi kits.

    Hot Raspberry Pi Deals

    Labists Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit: was $119, now $99 @ Amazon
    This kit has everything you need to get started with the Raspberry Pi 4—including the Pi 4. You get a 32 GB MicroSD card, heatsinks, a sleek-looking case, and so much more.View Deal

    UNIROI 7-inch LCB Screen for Raspberry Pi: was $59.99, now $49.99

    The UNIROI 7-inch screen can be used as a display for any HDMI device and is a natural fit for Raspberry Pi. It has a 1024×600 resolution, an ultra-slim shell and comes with an HDMI cable, USB cable, and a 5V 1a power supply adapter that interfaces with standard 5V power supplies.

    Flirc Raspberry Pi 4 Case: was $15, now $11 @ Amazon
    The Flirc case for the Pi 4 has a built-in heatsink—something you definitely don’t want to skip with the Pi 4. It has holes for each port and access to GPIO pins through the bottom.View Deal

    USB SNES Controllers / 2 Pack: was $26, now $10 @ Amazon
    If you plan on gaming with your Raspberry Pi, you’ll need a couple of controllers. Check out this deal on Amazon to get 62% off your future multiplayer experience.View Deal

    Logitech Wireless Keyboard/Mouse: was $40, now $18 @ Amazon
    For a full-sized keyboard experience, check out this wireless keyboard from Logitech. It features a built-in touchpad and uses a USB adapter to connect to your Raspberry Pi. It’s currently on Amazon for 55% off.View Deal

    Eyoyo 10″ LCD Display: was $89, now $82 @ eBay
    The 10″ Eyoyo monitor has a resolution of 1024 x 600. It connects to the Raspberry Pi via HDMI input. This particular model comes with an adjustable stand.View Deal

    Robot Kits

    Sphero RVR Robot: was $249 now $199 @ Amazon
    This robotic vehicle is loaded with sensors, including a color sensor, an accelerometer, an IR sensor and a gyroscope. Best of all, you can attach a Raspberry Pi to the RVR and use it to add all kinds of features including a camera or a robot arm.View Deal

    Raspberry Pi Cases and Kits

    CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter Kit: was $94, now $89 @ Amazon
    This kit includes so much more than just a Raspberry Pi 3 B+. You get a case, heatsinks, a 32 GB microSD card, a breadboard, and even a T Cobbler adapter for Pi projects.View Deal

    Monitors and Screens

    Ultrathin 10″ LCD Monitor: was $65, now $59 @ eBay
    This 10″ LCD has a few input options—from HDMI and VGA to RCA and AV. It comes with a remote and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.View Deal

    Eyoyo 10″ LCD Display: was $88, now $81 @ eBay
    The 10″ Eyoyo monitor has a resolution of 1024 x 600. It connects to the Raspberry Pi via HDMI input. This particular model comes with an adjustable stand.View Deal

    10-inch LCD Screen, HDMI Input: was $49, now $39 @ eBay
    If you’re looking for a 10″ display for the Raspberry Pi, check out this deal on eBay. It includes a 10.1″ TFT LCD Display, an HDMI Video/VGA Driver board, and a keyboard cable.View Deal

    Peripherals and Controllers

    Mini Wireless Keyboard/Touchpad USB: was $15, now $6 @ eBay
    You probably need a keyboard for your Raspberry Pi. This USB mini keyboard has everything you need to navigate something like Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi. It includes a touchpad for mouse functions.View Deal

    Logitech Wireless Keyboard/Mouse: was $39, now $17 @ Amazon
    For a full-sized keyboard experience, check out this wireless keyboard from Logitech. It features a built-in touchpad and uses a USB adapter to connect to your Raspberry Pi. It’s currently on Amazon for 55% off.View Deal

    TedGem Wireless Keyboard/Touchpad: was $26, now $21 @ Amazon
    Connect this keyboard to your Pi using the provided USB adapter. It features 2.4GHz wireless connectivity and a built-in touchpad—perfect for projects on the Raspberry Pi.View Deal

    Retro-Bit Sega Genesis USB Controller: was $19, now $16 @ Amazon
    For all the Sega Genesis fans out there, check out this Retro-Bit controller deal. This USB controller resembles the original Genesis controller—perfect for Raspberry Pi gaming rigs.View Deal

    Tools and Materials

    Geekworm Raspberry Pi Spacers/Nuts Kit: was $13, now $10 @ Amazon
    This kit comes with a few goodies that are really useful for Pi projects. It includes spacers, nuts, and screws designed to fit the Raspberry Pi 2, Pi 3, Pi 3 B+, and 4.View Deal

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