September 14, 2009
A mated female Mediterranean fruit fly was trapped in northern Escondido, prompting agriculture officials to establish a new quarantine area, in addition to the Medfly quarantine areas already in effect in other parts of the county.
“The latest trapped Medfly was closer to agricultural operations than those previously discovered in El Cajon, Mira Mesa and Imperial Beach,” said Agricultural Commissioner Robert Atkins.
“We are working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to eradicate this pest as quickly as possible.”
The quarantine area will be mapped out this week. Over the weekend, the location where the Medfly was found, along with adjacent properties, were treated with Naturalyte which contains the active ingredient Spinosad, a naturally-occurring extract from bacteria.
Residents who live within a 200-meter radius of the find site will be notified that their properties will be treated this week. Also, homeowners and others visiting the affected area are urged not to remove backyard fruits and vegetables because the produce could be infested.
The Medfly can attack more than 260 different fruits and vegetables.
The female lays eggs inside the fruit, which hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it inedible.
If the problem is untreated, commercial growers in San Diego County could lose as much as $280 million worth of crops.
A map of current Medfly quarantine areas in the county can be found online.
To report maggots in undecayed fruit, contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899.
Residents with fruit trees in their yards who would like a fruit fly trap placed on their property can call 1-800-300-8727 (TRAP).
For more information, visit the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures at www.sdcawm.org.