The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has established an Oriental fruit fly quarantine covering 123 square miles in Northern California. The quarantine area includes much of Sacramento as well as parts of Elk Grove and Yolo County. Sacramento County officials have found 15 of the flies over the past four weeks in the southern portion of the City of Sacramento. It is unknown how the pest arrived in Sacramento, but the detections indicate that there is a breeding population in the immediate area.
All the trappings thus far have been in residential areas with several locations having more than one fly. CDFA will be addressing the issue primarily with chemical control and following it with physical control by removing host fruit when it is apparent there is a breeding population present. The male attractant technique will be employed using 600 small bait stations within the eradication boundary. Foliar bait treatments will also be used at locations where a breeding population has been discovered. This approach to the issue has worked successfully in dozens of similar infestations in California in the past.
Originating in Asia, the Oriental fruit fly is known to attack over 230 kinds of fruits and vegetables including different types of citrus, walnuts, prunes, tomatoes, and peppers. Most commodities attacked by the flies will become unfit for consumption because of decay caused by tunneling from fly larvae. Female fruit flies lay eggs in the fruit which eventually hatch into maggots and make their way out of the fruit.
Residents within the Oriental fruit fly quarantine zone are advised to refrain from removing produce from their property. Items can be consumed in the area they are grown, or they can be disposed of by being double-bagged and put in the trash bin or being ground in the garbage disposal.