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CDFA Plant Health

Current Pre-Harvest Treatments in California


All exotic fruit fly host fruits and vegetables grown inside the quarantine area must be treated if intended for sale or for movement within or outside of the quarantine area*. The crop owner or grower must provide all necessary chemicals, personnel, application and safety equipment. Treatments must be conducted in accordance with the product/pesticide label and all county, state and federal laws. Registration for “Special Local Need” with your County Agricultural Commissioner may be required for the use of Malathion™. An officer from the Project must monitor all treatments. The Project must receive advance notification of each intended application.

To be eligible for movement within or outside of the quarantined area, a minimum of four applications must be made during the pre-harvest treatment period. The pre-harvest treatment period is a minimum of 30 days, but could be longer, depending on the life cycle degree-day calculations. The life cycle degree-day calculations are updated at least every two weeks by incorporating the actual daily temperatures in place of daily temperature estimates. Therefore, the pre-harvest treatment period is subject to change. The Pre-harvest Treatment Schedule should be checked on a regular basis.

Annual host crops with a growing cycle less than the Pre-harvest Schedule are exempt from the Schedule, but must be treated during the entire growing period. These crops must start their pre-harvest quarantine treatments within seven days of emergence or after transplant and must continue their treatments uninterrupted until harvest. Bare soil does NOT need to be treated to meet the Pre-harvest Schedule 30-day minimum.

Placards or a similar substrate should be used as additional surface area for pesticide applications until the host plants reach a size to support the entire treatment. In this case, the treatment substrate must be placed no more than every 15 feet throughout the crop.

Upon completion of all required pre-harvest treatment applications, a permit will be issued authorizing the movement of the treated commodity for ten consecutive days. The effective date of any permit issued is the day after completion of treatment. The permit will be valid for a specified amount of time (usually ten days). If harvest is expected to continue beyond the permit end date, additional applications will be required until harvest is complete. Failure to comply with the treatment schedule will result in the fruit or vegetables becoming ineligible for movement.

* Host crops inside a core area are NOT eligible for pre-harvest bait treatment and may only move if subjected to an approved processing method or post harvest treatment. A core area is one square mile around the fly/larval find.