oriental fruit fly

Exotic Fruit Flies Especially Problematic for California This Year

Brian GermanIndustry, Pest Update

Exotic fruit flies of a variety of different types have been more problematic in 2023. Several quarantines have been issued by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) to help manage the pests. While no federally administered quarantine has been issued for California, localized efforts to address fruit flies are underway in 13 counties. CDFA has been working with multiple local and federal agencies to address pest populations and mitigate potential threats. The Tau fruit fly and the oriental fruit fly are of particular concern.

Exotic Fruit Flies
oriental fruit fly

The first quarantine in the Western Hemisphere for the Tau fruit fly was issued earlier this year. More than 100 square miles have been placed under quarantine in Los Angeles County. The pest has a wide host range of more than 34 hosts in nine plant families. Multiple detections have been found thus far. The pest presents additional challenges, with no sterile insect technique developed for the Tau fruit fly.

Efforts to address oriental fruit fly are currently underway in 10 counties. The pest has a significant range of crops it poses a threat to, including citrus, stone fruit, grapes, and walnuts. Areas of Contra Costa and Santa Clarita counties are currently under quarantine for oriental fruit fly. CDFA has had success in the past with addressing the pest, having never failed to eradicate an infestation.

Notices of emergency programs have also been issued for guava fruit fly and mexican fruit fly in 2023. More than 63,000 detection traps are routinely maintained throughout the state to help keep pest populations from going unnoticed. Producers are encouraged to call the CDFA Exotic Pest Hotline at 1 (800) 491-1899 regarding any suspected infestations of exotic fruit flies.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West