Invasive pest the Swede midge found in Michigan

Posted at 12:17 PM, Oct 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-05 12:18:29-04
Swede midge

Photo from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

SANILAC COUNTY, Mich. — The invasive pest the Swede midge has been discovered in five fields in Sanilac County, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced Monday.

The Swede midge poses a “potentially serious threat to Michigan’s cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and other crucifers,” the department said in a release.

It’s unclear exactly how the Swede midge, which is native to Europe and southwestern Asia, was brought into the state.   It was first identified in North America in 2000 after being found in Ontario, Canada, according to a release.  It often spreads through infested transplant material, the department said.

It was first discovered in the U.S. in New York in 2004 and has since spread to seven states.

“The Swede midge’s developing larvae cause swelling and severe distortion of young plant tissues, resulting in the death of the growing tip or the development of blind or multiple heads in cruciferous plants,” a release from the state Department of Agriculture says.