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More Medflies Found; Areas Under Quarantine

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June 2, 2009

Three additional adult Mediterranean fruit flies and 14 larvae were found one mile southwest of last week’s find, and a quarantine is in effect for areas of Mira Mesa, officials announced today.

Agriculture staff found three adult Medflies at the same location. They included one mated female, one immature female and one immature male. Additionally, 14 fly larvae were collected within 200 meters east of where the adult Medflies were found.

“Finding the fruit fly larvae means that it is necessary to remove ripe and near-ripe fruit within a 100-meter-radius around the second find site,” said Agricultural Commissioner Robert Atkins.

“Additionally, we are asking the public to not remove fruit and vegetables from the Mira Mesa area.”

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) staff will treat and remove fruit from the larval find site and its adjacent properties this week. Fruit trees where the Medflies were found have been treated with Naturalyte, which contains the active ingredient, Spinosad, a naturally-occurring extract from bacteria.

The additional Medflies found in Mira Mesa are not related to the ongoing Medfly quarantine established last November in El Cajon and the surrounding area.

The County and the CDFA will continue intensive trapping in a 98-square-mile area around the two adult find sites. Sterile fly release began in the area when the first mated female was found on May 20.

The Mediterranean fruit fly is known to damage more than 260 different fruits and vegetables.

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 inedible. If left unchecked, a crop loss value for commercial growers in San Diego County could be as high as $280 million.

Since detection, every Medfly infestation in the state has been successfully eradicated by County, State and Federal agencies.

Residents can report suspicious flies to the CDFA PEST HOTLINE at 1-800-491-1899 or 619-698-1046.

If your yard contains fruit trees and you would like to have a fruit fly trap placed on your property, call the County’s Pest Detection Program at 1-800-300-8727 (TRAP).

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