The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, and the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office have eradicated an oriental fruit fly (OFF) infestation centered in the southern part of the City of Sacramento near the Lemon Hill community, ending a 123-square-mile quarantine that began August 28, 2018. A total of 15 male flies and one female fly were detected.
Following the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), CDFA primarily used the “male attractant” technique to eradicate this pest. Trained workers squirt a small patch of fly attractant mixed with a very small dose of pesticide approximately 8-10 feet off the ground on street trees and similar surfaces; male fruit flies are attracted to the mixture and perish after consuming it. This approach has successfully eliminated dozens of fruit fly infestations in California over the last several decades.
CDFA, the USDA, the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner, and the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner acknowledge and thank local area residents and businesses for their cooperation in preventing the movement of backyard fruit and allowing property access to perform critical eradication activities.
The Oriental fruit fly is known to target over 230 different fruit, vegetable, and plant commodities. Damage occurs when the female fruit fly lays eggs inside the fruit or vegetable. The eggs hatch into maggots, which tunnel through the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, making it unfit for consumption.
The Oriental fruit fly is widespread throughout much of mainland southern Asia and neighboring islands, including Sri Lanka and Taiwan, and it has invaded other areas, including Africa and Hawaii.
While fruit flies and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the vast majority are found in urban and suburban communities. The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers when they return from infested regions of the world. Help protect California’s agricultural and natural resources; please Don’t Pack a Pest (www.dontpackapest.com) when traveling or mailing packages.