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By Justin Cooley
The Oriental Fruit Fly is back in both Artesia and Cerritos prompting state officials to take action on Wednesday by declaring a quarantine in the two communities.
A quarantine zone was also called for in the Anaheim area of Orange County.
State officials confirmed to Hews Media Group-Community News that “a number of adult flies and larvae have been discovered on properties within the quarantine zone.”
The oriental fruit fly is known to damage over 230 different fruits and vegetables. Infestation occurs when the fruit flies lay larvae eggs within the flesh of the vegetation. The insect threatens numerous California crops although most infestations occur in urban areas.
The Oriental Fruit Fly is small – about the same size as a housefly – but is pure evil to farmers in California. In the 1970’s the pesky bug destroyed walnut, cherry, grape, pepper and tomato crops in Central California.
Other zones include portions of cities including: Buena Park, Cypress, and Stanton. The zone continues south to Westminster Blvd.
The CDFA will be following past Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principals in its eradication effort. The “male attractant” technique is method previously used in other quarantined zones that has successfully eradicated the pest. Workers will spray small patches of fly attractant mixed with pesticides 8-10 feet off the ground on streets and other areas. After consuming the pesticides the flies will die.
For more information about the project call the department’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899. Maps of the treatment areas are available online at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/FFmaps-peps
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