News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #02-066
Eradication program underway in Los Angeles County
SACRAMENTO- The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has established a 70-square mile quarantine zone in the San Gabriel and Monterey Park areas of Los Angeles County following the discovery of Mexican fruit flies. Since October 9th, four flies have been trapped and one live larva has been identified.

“Exotic fruit flies are a serious threat to California agriculture, ”said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons Jr. “The quarantine is a necessary step to keep this threatening infestation from spreading.”

A ground treatment program is being applied to all host plants within a 200-meter radius of each find. The property on which the larva was identified is also being treated. An aerial release of sterile Mexican fruit flies is occurring over a 14-square mile area. The sterile release helps ensure any wild Mexican fruit flies in the area mate with sterile flies to prevent further spread of the pest.

The Mexican fruit fly is native to central Mexico. In California the pest threatens important crops such as avocados, stone fruits and citrus, especially grapefruit. Damage occurs when an adult female fly lays eggs in the fruit, with the resulting larvae making the fruit unfit for consumption.

Homeowners and people moving through the affected zone are urged not to remove fruits and vegetables from the area.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814