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August 13, 2010 > Oriental fruit flies found

Oriental fruit flies found

Submitted By Santa Clara County Department of Agriculture and Environmental Management

An infestation of Oriental Fruit Fly was discovered on August 5, 2010 in the City of Milpitas. Two flies were trapped in a residential neighborhood northeast of Jacklin Road and Milpitas Boulevard. The identification of these insects was confirmed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). According to State protocol, the trapping of two flies resulted in an emergency proclamation by the California Secretary of Agriculture authorizing immediate implementation of an eradication program.

The eradication program commenced on August 9, 2010 and involves the "male attractant" technique using ground-based, spot applications of insecticide and pheromone lure. This gelatinous mixture is applied as small, dollar-sized spots ("bait stations") on street trees and utility poles. The male fruit flies are attracted to these spots because of the lure and die from feeding on the minute amount of insecticide in the mixture. The treatments are applied at heights that are typically inaccessible and cause minimal disruption to the public.

CDFA workers are treating an area of approximately 11.6 square miles as part of this eradication effort. The treatment area is roughly bounded by Bayview Drive (Fremont, Alameda County) on the north, Scott Creek Road on the east, Great Mall Parkway on the south and Center Road on the west.

Oriental Fruit Fly is an exotic insect pest found throughout much of southern Asia. Distribution in the United States is restricted to the Hawaiian Islands. Oriental Fruit Fly is a pest of more than 230 kinds of fruits and vegetables including citrus, stone fruits, pome fruits, avocado and tomato.

Infestations of Oriental Fruit Fly are likely to result from the introduction of contraband fruit. In the past few weeks, this invasive pest has also been found in the counties of Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Bernardino.

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