SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas agriculture officials are encouraging berry and fruit growers to be aware of a fly that can destroy their crops.
The spotted-wing drosophila has been found in traps recently in Johnson, Washington and White counties.
The pest cuts through the skin of ripening fruit and lays its eggs. Within three days the eggs turn to white larvae, which feed inside the skin of the fruit.
Arkansas produces millions of dollars of berries and tree fruit each year, which could be put at risk by the pest.
Officials say some growers elsewhere have been taken by surprise by the pest and saw their crops devastated.
Insecticides can be used to combat the fly, if its presence is caught early enough.
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