Huff Applauds Quick CDFA Action in Response to Citrus Pest

DanCitrus, General, Industry News Release

Oriental Fruit Fly Discovery Leads to 130 Square Mile Quarantine

SACRAMENTO: Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) says he supports the quick and definitive action taken by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in response to the discovery of the Oriental fruit fly in portions of the 29th Senate District that cover Los Angeles and Orange County. CDFA investigators established the quarantine after multiple adult flies and larvae were discovered in the quarantine area.

The quarantine zone is centered on the Anaheim (Orange County) and Artesia/Cerritos (Los Angeles County) areas and includes portions of Buena Park, Cypress, and Stanton, reaching south to Westminster Boulevard, north to Florence Avenue, west to Paramount Boulevard, and to the east to Anaheim Boulevard.

“I understand this can be an inconvenience to some of my constituents, but once the pests have been discovered, the number one goal is to eradicate them quickly before they can spread to other neighborhoods,” said Senator Huff. “It’s imperative that the Los Angeles and Orange County agriculture departments work in conjunction with the CDFA to identify infected citrus and stone fruit trees and remove and destroy the fruit before this pest can spread. Nobody wants a repeat of the spraying that took place to control the Mediterranean fruit fly.”

The oriental fruit fly is known to target over 230 different fruit, vegetable and plant commodities. Damage occurs when the female lays eggs inside the fruit. The eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

The CDFA has taken action to inform Senator Huff that removal of host fruits and vegetables is a necessary step on or near properties where flies have been detected. Additional measures include fruit cutting to detect any fly larvae that may be present, and treatment of host trees and plants with the organic-approved material spinosad. The CDFA is also employing the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPA) as part of the eradication effort. The agency uses “bait stations” with a powerful fly attractant as the mainstay of its eradication effort for this pest.  This approach has successfully eliminated dozens of fruit fly infestations from California.

“The California citrus industry is worth about $656 million annually according to the CDFA,” said Senator Huff. “This particular pest has been known to target as many as 230 commercial crops in California, with an estimated value of over $20 billion. We must act quickly to save jobs and business opportunity.”

Residents inside or immediately outside the quarantine zone can call the CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 if they have any questions or concerns about the project.

Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.