News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Jay Van Rein
AGRICULTURAL QUARANTINE IMPOSED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOR ORIENTAL FRUIT FLY
CDFA
Release #03-073
Movement of fruit and vegetable crops out of Ontario area restricted
SACRAMENTO ­– The California Department of Food and Agriculture has established a 137 square-mile quarantine zone in the Ontario area in Southern California following the discovery of Oriental fruit flies.

“The quarantine is a necessary step to keep this infestation from spreading,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “Now that our trapping system has detected the infestation, we will turn our efforts to eradication so that the quarantine may be lifted as soon as possible.”

Eradication relies upon a process known as “male annihilation” in which workers apply 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. The treatment is non-intrusive and has repeatedly proven successful. Treatments will be repeated at two-week intervals for two life cycles beyond the last fly find, with a minimum of four applications.

The quarantine affects the area generally surrounding Ontario International Airport, including the San Bernardino County communities of Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Claremont, Montclair and Chino, and a portion of the Pomona area of Los Angeles County.  Agricultural shipments from the quarantine zone will be limited to minimize movement of potentially infested commodities. In addition, homeowners and people moving through the quarantine zone 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.

 

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov