News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #04-035
Restrictions protect quality, availability of many California crops
SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is establishing a 67-square-mile agricultural quarantine in the area around Los Angeles International Airport following the discovery of a mating population of Oriental fruit flies.

“This quarantine will help us ensure that our markets and our consumers have continued access to the high-quality fruits, vegetables and other commodities that Californians demand,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “This pest threatens more than 230 agricultural products, so we are working quickly to eradicate this infestation.”

The Oriental fruit fly female lays eggs inside many varieties of fruit, vegetables and other commodities. The eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

Eradication relies upon a proven method known as “male annihilation,” consisting 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 have already begun, and will be repeated at two-week intervals for two life cycles beyond the last fly find, with a minimum of four applications.

The quarantine area includes the communities of Westchester, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Culver City and Ladera Heights. Click on the link here to see a map of the area.

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

The Oriental fruit fly 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