Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, firstname.lastname@example.org,
SACRAMENTO, July 15, 2011 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is beginning treatment programs in response to detections of Oriental fruit flies in the Yorba Linda-Anaheim area of Orange County and the Baldwin Park area of Los Angeles County.
Male Oriental fruit flies were detected in insect traps on June 27 and July 6 in the Yorba Linda-Anaheim area and on July 7 and 11 in the Baldwin Park area. The treatment programs will be carried out over approximately 17 square miles in the Yorba Linda area and 10.7 square miles in the Baldwin Park-Anaheim area, surrounding the sites where the insects were trapped. Residents of the treatment areas were notified in advance.
The Oriental fruit fly is known to target 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.
“One key way to cut down on fruit fly infestations is to remind travelers returning from abroad not to bring back fruits, vegetables, seeds or other prohibited plant material,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Keeping these invasive pests out of California in the first place saves our state money, reduces pesticide use and protects our environment and food supply.”
While fruit flies and other pests threaten California’s crops, the vast majority of them are detected in urban and suburban areas. The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers as they return from infested regions around the world. The Oriental fruit fly is widespread throughout much of the mainland of Southern Asia and neighboring islands including Sri Lanka and Taiwan. It is also found in Hawaii.
Treatment of the Oriental fruit fly relies upon a process known as “male attractant,” in which workers squirt a small patch of fly attractant mixed with a very small dose of pesticide approximately 8-10 feet off the ground to light poles, street trees and similar surfaces. Male flies are attracted to the mixture and die after consuming it.
The treatment is non-intrusive and has repeatedly proven successful over many years. Treatments will be repeated at two-week intervals for two life cycles beyond the last fly find, with a minimum of four applications.
Detailed maps of the treatment areas are available online at:
Residents with questions about the project may call the department’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.