Black Currant Leaf Midge New pest for Alaska?

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    In June 2012, a friend called about new growth dying off on his black currants. The new growth was curled up and definitely dead.

    A few weeks later, I noticed the same on my own black currants. Unfolding the leaves before they dried out revealed very small maggot like bugs. I couldn’t find anything online that looked like my symptoms.

    I mentioned the problem to Todd and Rusty (horticulturists) at the PMC tour in August 2013. They seemed interested so I delivered samples of the infected growth to the PMC.

    Rusty gave a tentative ID of Black Currant Leaf Midge dasineura tetensi. You can google to see pics of the symptoms.

    Life cycle starts out as eggs on the new growth. Larva feed, mature, and fall to the ground. They burrow into the dirt and reemerge as adults to start the cycle again in the same summer.

    One possible solution is cultural practices. Clean up under the plant. Maybe put down a fabric barrier to keep them out of the ground. That might interrupt the cycle.

    Rusty plans to set out traps this summer to positively ID the adults.

    If you have observed this pest, please post your location. It will be interesting to see how far the infestation ranges.


    I am finding something similar on my haskaps this spring. Just on the new growth. My location is Palmer right by the High School. Rusty is welcome to come and take samples.

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