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Asian fruit fly a threat to E. Tenn. crops

October 26th, 2013 9:11 am by Associated Press

Asian fruit fly a threat to E. Tenn. crops

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A fruit fly from Asia is posing a threat to crops in East Tennessee.

The Associated Press reports that berries are particularly susceptible to the spotted-wing drosophila, which lays microscopic eggs in fruit. A healthy crop can become infested in just a few days.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville entomology professor Frank Hale says the bug is "attacking" numerous types of fruit. He says scientists are trying to learn more about the bug so they can help farmers.

The fly is native to Japan. It first showed up in the U.S. in 2008 in imported fruit. Three years later, the insect made its first appearance in Tennessee in Unicoi County. This year, it has been found in more than 10 counties including Grundy, Polk and Rhea.

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