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Oriental Fruit Fly

Published on: 10/30/2013 4:45 PM
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The State lab confirmed two detections of Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) in the City of Cupertino.   As a result of these finds, the Secretary of Agriculture issued an emergency proclamation authorizing an eradication project. 
 
Treatment is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 25, 2013, in a 10 square mile area surrounding the finds using the "male attractant" technique.  This technique uses ground-based, spot applications of minute amounts of insecticide and feeding attractant lure.  The treatment is applied as small, dollar-sized spots on inanimate objects such as street trees and utility poles approximately 8 feet off the ground.  The male fruit flies are attracted to these spots because of the lure, and die from feeding on the mixture.  The treatments are applied at heights that are typically inaccessible and cause minimal disruption to the public.
 
To view a map of the treatment area, scroll down below and click on the “OFF Treatment area – Cupertino”.
 
The infestation in Cupertino marks the sixth time in seven years we have had an Oriental Fruit Fly eradication project in Santa Clara County.  In July 2012, we had an eradication project in Morgan Hill.  In August 2010, we had an eradication project in Milpitas.  In August 2008, we had an infestation in the City of Santa Clara.  August 2007, we had an infestation of OFF in the Cupertino area, and then in October 2007 we had an infestation in the Gilroy area.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was able to successfully eradicate OFF in all of these areas using the male attractant technique.    
 
The Oriental Fruit Fly is an exotic insect pest found throughout much of the mainland of southern Asia and neighboring islands.  Distribution in the United States is restricted to the Hawaiian Islands.  OFF is a pest of over 230 kinds of fruit and vegetables including citrus, grapes, stone fruits, apples, pears, avocado, pepper, and tomato.  
 
These infestations are likely the result of contraband fruit smuggled into California.  We ask all Californians not to bring fruit or vegetables back from your travels.  Exotic fruit flies impact not only our multi-billion-dollar agricultural industry, but threaten California’s native and urban environments.
 
CDFA Website:
 
For more information about the Oriental Fruit Fly, you can visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s website:   http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pdep/treatment/oriental_ff.html​.