Fruit Fly Quarantine Expands with Further Detections

Brian GermanIndustry, Pest Update

Fruit Fly Quarantine

Additional areas of the state are now under an Oriental fruit fly quarantine. The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) made the announcement last week. Following the detection of multiple flies, portions of Sacramento, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties have been placed under quarantine. The pest can be problematic for more than 230 different fruit, vegetable, and plant commodities. Pome and stone fruits, citrus, avocados, tomatoes, and peppers are particularly at risk of pest damage.

In Sacramento County, a 106-square-mile quarantine zone is established around Rancho Cordova, and in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, a 112-square-mile zone surrounds Redlands. A link to both quarantine maps is available online. Residents in quarantine areas are advised against moving homegrown fruits and vegetables from their property, while consumption or processing on-site is allowed. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles will guide eradication efforts. A “male attractant” technique using a mix of attractant and organic pesticide to eliminate infestations will be deployed. This approach is executed within a 1.5-mile radius of trap sites.

The latest Oriental fruit fly quarantine areas are just the latest efforts to address potentially devastating pests in the state. Back in July and August, CDFA confirmed detections of Oriental fruit fly in Santa Clara County, resulting in a 112-square-mile quarantine. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross noted that it has been a challenging year for agricultural pest and disease issues, emphasizing the significant increase in fruit fly detections. The first quarantine in the Western Hemisphere for the Tau Fruit Fly was issued in California earlier this year.

The vast majority of fruit flies and other invasive species are found in urban and suburban communities. Most often, travelers will inadvertently bring the pest into the state by illegally bringing in fruits and vegetables. Produce from other countries that is sent to California can also commonly introduce pests into the state.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West