The California Department of Food and Agriculture confirmed six detections of Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) in the City of Cupertino in June 2015. Due to the fact six flies were found so close to one another, the Secretary of Agriculture declared a treatment and a quarantine of the area. The quarantine zone encompasses the treatment area and a 4.5 mile buffer, bringing the total quarantine area to 89 square miles. (see the map titled: “Cupertino Quarantine” below)
To prevent the spread of Oriental Fruit Flies through homegrown fruits and vegetables, we ask residents living in the quarantine area to not move fruits and vegetables from their property. Fruits and vegetables can only be consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal) on the property where they were picked.
In order to eradicate this pest, the Secretary of Agriculture issued an emergency proclamation authorizing an eradication project in the Cupertino area. To view a map of the treatment area, please click on “Cupertino treatment map” down below. The treatment in the Cupertino area began on Friday, June 26, 2015 and these treatments will be repeated every 2 weeks for approximately 8 weeks.
In addition to the Cupertino treatment area, we have an additional infestation in the town of Los Altos Hills and City of Los Altos. The State Department of Agriculture discovered two flies within a mile and half of one another in late June 2015. As a result of these 2 flies, the Secretary of Agriculture issued another emergency proclamation authorizing an eradication project. The treatments for the Los Altos Hills area began on Friday, July 10, 2015 and treatments will be repeated every 2 weeks for the next 8 weeks. To see a map of the treatment area, please click on “Los Altos Hills treatment map”.
The area surrounding the fly finds are treated 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.
The infestation in Cupertino and Los Altos Hills marks the fourth time in eight years we have had an Oriental Fruit Fly eradication project in the north portion of the County. The previous infestations were in October of 2013 and in August 2007. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was able to successfully eradicate OFF in the past 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.