SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin treatments in the Vista area of San Diego County following the discovery of three Oriental fruit flies there. The treatment is known as “male annihilation” and has repeatedly proven successful. No quarantine has been declared, and no agricultural commerce is affected by this activity. Treatments will be reapplied every 14 days (weather permitting) for a minimum of approximately six weeks.
“The eradication effort is a necessary step to keep this threatening pest from spreading,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr.
The “male annihilation” treatment consists of workers applying a small patch of a pheromone attractant mixed with a very small dose of pesticide to poles or trees, approximately 8 feet off the ground. The males are attracted to the pheromone, consume the pesticide and die before they can mate. Applications will be repeated at two-week intervals for two life cycles beyond the last fly find, with a minimum of four applications.
Backyard fruit may be infested. As a precaution, homeowners and people moving through the Vista area are urged not to remove fruits and vegetables from the area.
The Oriental fruit fly is known to harm 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 pest was first found in California in 1960. A number of major infestations have been successfully eradicated since then.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814