New Invasive Insect Damaging Minnesota Crops

Swede midge

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new invasive insect has made its way to Minnesota and is causing damage to various vegetables and crops. according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The swede midge is a small fly that infests crops such as broccoli, cabbage, or canola.

The insect was first discovered by the MDA in 2016 in Ramsey and Hennepin counties.

“Swede midge has the potential to greatly impact Minnesota,” said Mark Abrahamson, Assistant Director, Assistant Director of MDA’s Plant Protection Division. “Crop losses will impact home, community and market gardens, as well as the state’s canola growers.”

Swede is native to Europe and southwestern Asia, and is widespread in areas of eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S.

Damage from a Swede midge to a brussel sprout plant.

Programs to monitor and eliminate the insect have had limited success in other states. The U of M Extension IPM Program will work closely with the MDA to begin adapting IPM strategies for the affected crops as soon as possible.

Anyone who suspects crop damage from Swede midge should contact the MDA’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684.

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