Mexican fruit fly trap catches prompt south Texas quarantine

03/29/2012 12:21:00 PM
The Grower Staff

male Mexican Fruit FlyCourtesy of the Animal and Plant Inspection ServiceTraps in a commercial citrus grove caught seven Mexican fruit flies.The U.S. Department of Agriculture has quarantined the southern San Benito area of Cameron County, Texas, after seven unmated and one mated adult Mexican fruit flies were trapped in February and earlier this month.

The quarantine regulates the movement of host materials from the area to prevent spread of the pest to other areas, accordinng to a National Plant Protection Organization pest alert.

The flies, which were detected in grapefruit and orange trees in a commercial grove, were caught during routine trapping.

As part of the eradication effort, additonal traps will be deployed to determine how widespread the infestation is.

Crews will treat the host trees surrounding the finds with either spinosad or malathion as foliar bat treatments.

In addition, the USDA will release millions of sterile male Mexican fruit flies over the area.

The goal is to innundate an area with so many sterile flies that female flies have difficulty finding a wild male fly with which to mate. Eventually the population dies out due to a lack of reproduction.

For more information on the quarantine, including a map, visit USDA.

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