Two male Oriental fruit flies were trapped in the La Costa area of Carlsbad on Tuesday, Sept. 9 by the Department of Agriculture, Wrights and Measures.
The discovery has prompted officials to order treatments known as “male attraction” to eradicate this pest within approximately 8.7 square miles around the area where they were first found.
“The Oriental fruit fly is known to damage more than 230 different fruits, vegetables, and plants,” said Bob Atkins, County Agricultural Commissioner.
“It is important to local residents and farmers that eradication efforts begin as soon as possible to prevent the spread of this invasive pest. This treatment has repeatedly proven successful in getting rid of these insects before they pose a significant problem.”
Damage from the Oriental fruit fly occurs when the female lays eggs inside the fruit. The eggs then hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.
At the present time, no quarantine has been issued.
On Friday, Sept. 12, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) began treatments that will be reapplied every 14 days, weather permitting, for at least four applications.
The male attraction treatment consists of workers applying a small patch of a food attractant mixed with a very small dose of pesticide to poles or trees, approximately eight feet off the ground. Males are attracted to the food, consume the pesticide and die before mating.
Homeowners and people moving through the area are urged not to remove fruits and vegetables from the La Costa area of Carlsbad because backyard fruits may be infested.
Residents can report suspicious flies to the CDFA PEST HOTLINE at 1-800-491-1899 or by calling 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).
For more information on Oriental fruit fly, visit the CDFA Web site.