An invasive vinegar fly has been spotted at three sites across the province, according to the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.

The spotted wing drosophila is an invasive alien vinegar fly, native to Asia, and is closely related to what is commonly known as a fruit fly.

The provincial government is closely monitoring the species, which inflicted $2.2 million in damage to the British Columbia cherry industry in 2010.

The department has set up traps in 60 sites across New Brunswick and a weekly report shows the first inspects were spotted last week.


The spotted wing drosophila were discovered in three sites across New Brunswick. (Wikimedia Commons, Photo by M. Francisco))

The flies were found in two strawberry sites and a raspberry site. The sites were in Charlotte, Westmorland and York counties.

The spotted wing drosophilia will attack fruit such as raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, cherry, plum, peach, nectarine, and sometimes grape.

The insect can be very destructive, ripping into ripe fruit and laying eggs under the skin.

A 2012 research project set traps at 20 sites across New Brunswick and 19 found the insects.

One insect was trapped in July 2012, but those numbers grew to 637 in August and 7,143 in September.