MSOB: Biological Approaches to Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila

Brian GermanIndustry, Making Sense of Biologicals

Spotted wing drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila can be a problematic pest for a variety of growers, as the pest impacts a multitude of crops. Senior Product Development Manager for Marrone Bio Innovations, Dr. Melissa O’Neal said management approaches that include biological materials can provide a host of benefits.

“One of our bioinsecticides that MRI offers is Grandevo WDG and it’s based on Chromobacterium subtsugae, strain PR-AA4I and the spent fermentation media. It’s another heat killed bacterium,” O’Neal noted. “So, we make the brew in our fermenters. We let the bacteria live, produce their byproducts then we heat kill them and that finalized product has nothing living in it.”

Spotted wing drosophila can have several generations per year and can proliferate very quickly. Management approaches that include biologicals can be instrumental in overcoming challenges. Intervals for treatment can shorten as fruit moves into susceptible stages, which can be a problem for growers.

“These intervals can be three to five days, which is very short, and presents both practical and logistical challenges,” said O’Neal. “Also, modes of action need to be rotated because insecticide resistance is a threat with such short intervals and multiple generations per season.”

Listen to the full episode with Dr. Melissa O’Neal below.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

This episode of Making Sense of Biologicals is made possible by Marrone Bio Innovations, leading the movement to environmentally sustainable farming practices through the discovery, development and sale of innovative biological products for crop protection, crop health and crop nutrition. Marrone Bio’s portfolio of 18 products helps a wide range of growers – from row crops and fruits and vegetables to tree nuts, vines, and greenhouse production – operate more sustainably while increasing their return on investment. For educational webinars and biological IPM programs, visit