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Oriental Fruit Fly

Published on: 12/1/2015 2:26 PM
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There were 14 Oriental Fruit Flies detected in our County in 2015 resulting in 4 separate treatment areas, one of which also had a Quarantine.     We are happy to report that the Los Altos Hills & Cupertino infestations were eradicated and the Cupertino Quarantine was rescinded on November 17, 2015!   We want to thank all the homeowners and businesses who cooperated with the quarantine restrictions.  Thanks to your support, we were able to successfully eradicate this pest! 
 
We have 2 on-going treatment areas.  One in the San Jose / Monte Sereno area with two flies found the end of September 2015 and the second infestation area was declared in the Milpitas / San Jose area the with two flies found the end of August and September.   These infestations were the third and fourth eradication areas declared for OFF this year!  (See attached maps of the areas down below.) As a result of these fly finds, the Secretary of Agriculture issued an emergency proclamation for each area authorizing an eradication project.   The San Jose / Monte Sereno area began treatments on October 1, 2015 and the Milpitas / San Jose area began treatments on October 10, 2015.  These treatments will be repeated every 2 weeks for approximately 8 weeks. 
 
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.
 
We have unfortunately been invaded by this pest several times over the past decade.  Thankfully, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) was able to successfully eradicate OFF each time 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.    
 
 
 
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