White Worms Raspberries

Raspberries from my GardenWhite worms raspberries??  Oh no Are you kidding? This is a “bad news” posting about white worms in raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and other soft fruits including blueberries, cherries, plums, plumcots, nectarines and figs. The Spotted Wing Drosophila fruit fly from native Japan is responsible. It is considered an invasive pest in the NW United States since 2009. Now it is also appearing on the East Coast of the US.

Why Are the Raspberries Not Kosher?

I was at a frozen yogurt store and noticed that the fresh raspberries and blackberries were marked “not kosher.” Now why in the world would a fresh fruit not be kosher. So I asked and they said that those fruits had not been checked to see if there were any worms in them. I had no idea that this was even a possibility. So I went home and looked in some of my gorgeous blackberries and sure enough there were white larvae crawling around in them. I was really grossed out because I had been eating these blackberries. Then I decided to check the raspberries and Yikes! The larvae were in the raspberries also. How disgusting and disappointing.

What Are the White Worms in the Raspberries?

Now I needed to find out what are these white worms or larvae and what to do about it. I put in “white worms raspberries” into Google and came up with the Spotted Wing Drosophila Fruit Fly.  This fruit fly is a more serious pest than our regular fruit flies because it attacks unripe and just ripe fruit.  Regular fruit flies attack fruit when it becomes soft and overly ripe.  The female has an ovipositor (which is the egg laying apparatus) that can pierce fruit that isn’t ripe yet.  With regular fruit flies we have an opportunity to pick the fruit before the fruit flies lay eggs in it.  Not so with the Spotted Wing Drosophila.  It lays eggs before we would think of picking the fruit.  For more information see this from the Pennsylvania Extension Service.

Check out this YouTube video to take a look at what these white worms in raspberries look like: