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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , officeofpublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #24-067
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TAU FRUIT FLY QUARANTINE LIFTED IN SANTA CLARITA AREA

Residents Can Prevent Future Introductions of Invasive Species by Avoiding Transport of Fruits and Vegetables


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SACRAMENTO — July 1, 2024 — Thanks to the cooperation and diligence of Santa Clarita area residents and local agricultural officials, CDFA, working in coordination with the USDA and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner, has declared an end to the Tau fruit fly quarantine following the eradication of the invasive pest.
 
The Tau fruit fly was first detected in the area in July 2023 and led to the first-ever quarantine for the pest in the Western Hemisphere. The quarantine encompassed the city of Santa Clarita and surrounding areas in parts of Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, Castaic Junction, Oat Mountain, and Del Valle. 
 
“Following one of the largest statewide invasive fruit fly populations we’ve seen in a number of years in California, we’re incredibly proud that we’ve been able to successfully achieve eradication of the Tau fruit fly,” said Victoria Hornbaker, director of CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division. “The lifting of this quarantine proves that our efforts are working, and the responsiveness and cooperation of residents across California and our partners is critical to that success.”
 
During the quarantine, crops that are hosts for the fruit fly — which include more than 300 varieties, such as citrus and other fruits, nuts, vegetables and berries — were not allowed to be moved from the properties where they were grown. Commercial crops were required to meet stringent treatment or processing standards before being harvested or moved.
 
While several fruit fly quarantines have now been lifted in California, four additional quarantines remain and still threaten the state’s natural environment, agriculture and economy.
 
As temperatures rise and vacationers ramp-up their travel plans, agriculture officials urge residents to refrain from bringing back potentially infested produce from their trips. When at home, residents are encouraged to stay vigilant for signs of invasive pests. To help prevent any future introductions of invasive species, residents should follow these guidelines: 
 
•    Cooperate with agricultural officials and allow them access to your garden to place traps, inspect plants, conduct necessary treatments or remove potentially infested produce. 
•    Determine if your property is located within an active quarantine area by visiting CAFruitFly.com
•      Buy fruit trees and vegetable plants from licensed California nurseries. Purchasing agricultural goods from uncertified sources can spread invasive pests. Source your plants locally and responsibly. To find a licensed nursery near you, visitCDFA’s Directory of Licensed Nurseries
•    Inspect your garden for signs of invasive fruit flies or maggots and report any findings to CDFA at 1-800-491-1899 or your local county agricultural commissioner’s office.
•    When entering the United States from another country, avoid bringing agricultural products — including fruits or vegetables. Help us protect our agricultural and natural resources and California’s unique biodiversity from invasive fruit flies — please Don’t Pack a Pest (www.dontpackapest.com) when traveling or mailing/receiving packages. 
 
To learn more about invasive species and how to protect the county’s fruits and vegetables, visit CaFruitFly.com or acwm.lacounty.gov.  

 

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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