Sen. Peters introduces new bill to combat invasive insects threatening crops

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - On Tuesday, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters introduced a bill to combat the spread of an invasive insect hurting crop yields in Michigan.

The bipartisan bill specifically targets the spotted wing drosophila, also known as SWD. The east Asian bug, which is commonly referred to as a fruit fly, has been detected in multiple states across the country, including Michigan. Some reports say the insect causes over $700,000,000 in damage per year in the U.S.

Spotted wing drosophila (Source: USDA)
Spotted wing drosophila (Source: USDA)

“I’ve heard from growers in Michigan how these invasive insects continue to damage blueberries, cherries, and other fruit crops, threatening their livelihoods and ability to sell produce,” Sen. Peters said in a press release. “That’s why I introduced this much-needed, bipartisan legislation to help mitigate the spread of this invasive pest, lower costs for fruit growers, and prevent these crops from being ruined in the first place.”

The new legislation would authorize over $6,000,000 to combat the pest. Sen. Peters was joined by Indiana Sen. Mike Braun in the bill introduction.