Oriental fruit flies trapped in central California, prompting quarantine

09/15/2011 06:39:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

The Stockton area of San Joaquin County, Calif., is ground zero for an Oriental fruit fly battle.

The first two fruit flies were trapped Sept. 8, prompting crews to deploy additional traps, according to a news release.

The traps have since picked up enough flies to confirm a breeding population and trigger a quarantine.

The boundaries of the quarantine, which restricts movement of host plants, will be announced once the extent of the infestation is determined.

Crews will pick host fruit within 200 meters of the confirmed trap catches and cut it to determine whether larvae are present.

At the same time, they'll treat host plants within 200 meters of the sites with an organic formulation of the insecticide spinosad.

Once the initial treatment is completed, crews will use an attract and kill program.

A female pheromone that attracts males for miles around will be mixed with a small amount of insecticide. The mixture will be squirted on trees and poles about 8 to 10 feet off the ground.

Male flies are attracted to the mixture and die after eating it.

This type of program has worked successfully with several earlier exotic fruit fly outbreaks throughout the Untied States.

Oriental fruit flies can infest more than 200 crops.



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