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Raspberry insect pests

Adult male spotted wing drosophila flies on a raspberry.
Male SWD flies can be identified by the single black spot on each wing. Females lay eggs in ripe raspberries.

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and Japanese beetles are the primary insect pests for raspberries.

SWD is the highest concern because it lays eggs directly into the berries and because it has a very high economic impact. Therefore, raspberry insect management programs largely focus on SWD.

Primary insect pests

  • Spotted wing drosophila: An invasive insect pest. The most common pest and the focus of raspberry pest control programs.
  • Japanese beetles: An invasive insect pest that feeds primarily on leaves but occasionally feeds on berries.

Occasional insect pests

  • Spider mites: Damage is more common in dry years and in high tunnels. They damage leaves by sucking sap from leaf cells, interfering with photosynthesis. Look for yellow speckling and thin white webbing on leaves. They feed on many plant species, so managing weeds around high tunnels can help reduce spider mite populations.
  • Leafhoppers: Suck on leaf cells, causing leaves to curl and reducing photosynthesis.
  • Sap beetles: Small, black or dark brown beetles that feed on very ripe or overripe fruit.
  • Multicolored Asian lady beetles: Occasionally feed on ripe berries. This insect is not always considered a pest, but it can become a pest when it feeds on raspberries and other fruits like grapes. Fruit growers see it most commonly on fall-bearing raspberries. It moves from soybean fields to fruit crops once soybeans are harvested in the fall.
  • Leafrollers: Cause leaves to roll when they form webs on the leaves.

For information on these insects, and for management recommendations, refer to the links above. Refer to the Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide for insecticide recommendations.

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension educator, fruit and vegetable production

Reviewed in 2022

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