4 months after an invasion of Tau fruit flies prompted metropolis officers to position Santa Clarita Valley below quarantine, Southern California has been hit with two new fruit fly infestations. This time, the invading bugs are the Queensland fruit fly, which is native to northeastern Australia, and the Mediterranean fruit fly, which is native to sub-Saharan Africa.
After two Queensland fruit flies have been detected in Thousand Oaks, an space of 76 sq. miles was put below quarantine. The area consists of elements of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the place quite a lot of regional crops — together with fruits like strawberry, grape, citrus, apricot, fig, avocado, peach, cherry, apple, nectarine, pear, and plum, in addition to greens like candy pepper and tomato — are vulnerable to infestation. This infestation happens when the feminine fruit flies lay eggs contained in the crops themselves. As soon as these eggs hatch, maggots bore their manner by way of the crops’ flesh, rendering them unsafe to be consumed.
The Queensland fruit fly infestation is the primary of its sort within the western hemisphere, and the Enterprise County Farm Bureau is nervous. “What’s at stake if this fruit fly continues to unfold is over $2 billion in financial exercise, agri-tourism, 25,000 jobs, and 6,000 oblique jobs,” says the bureau’s CEO, Maureen McGuire.
The natural pesticide Spinosad GF-120 Naturalyte is getting used to deal with areas affected by the infestation. Residents into the quarantined space have additionally been requested to double-bag any plant waste earlier than disposing of it within the trash, and to keep away from eradicating fruit and veggies from their properties.
Earlier this month, the same infestation occurred within the Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park, the place three Mediterranean fruit flies have been present in fly traps on fruit timber. In accordance with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service, these flies are “crucial agricultural pest on the earth.” They’ve infested “fruits, nuts and greens, together with apple, avocado, bell pepper, citrus, melon, peach, plum and tomato” since their first infestation of the American mainland occurred in Florida again in 1929.
To halt the unfold, officers have instituted a 69-mile quarantine, together with the same old double-bag suggestions. Extra notably, they’re dropping 250,000 sterile male flies per sq. mile into the affected space on a weekly foundation. It is a technique of fly contraception, primarily, whereby the sterile males mate with females and produce infertile eggs that don’t produce any offspring.
At FGS, now we have an extended historical past of aiding growers in protecting flies and different pests away from their operations. Composting manure, using fly traps, working towards crop rotation, encouraging the presence of pure predators, and making use of nematodes are all methods to maintain fly infestations below management. To enhance your individual pest management strategies, please give us a call!