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Crop-damaging Fruit Pest Found in South Dakota

FILE: Fruit Fly
Washington State University

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A pest that feeds on fresh fruit has been found in South Dakota for the first time.

South Dakota State University entomologist Buyung Hadi tells the Capital Journal that the spotted-wing drosophila was caught in a trap in southeastern South Dakota late last month.

The insect is about 3 millimeters long, yellowish brown in color with prominent red eyes. Males have dark spots on their wing tips. The pest is native to Asia. It was first found in the U.S. in 2008 in California, and has since spread to other parts of the country. It was first detected in Minnesota last summer, and in North Dakota earlier this summer.

Hadi says the fly is a concern for not only commercial fruit growers but also for home gardeners.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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