Medfly quarantine successful in Los Angeles County

A quarantine in Los Angeles County, Calif., has been dropped after a successful Mediterranean fruit fly eradication campaign ( USDA-Agricultural Research Service )

Local, state and federal agricultural entities have lifted a Mediterranean fruit fly quarantine in northern Los Angeles County.

The 129-square-mile zone in the Sun Valley neighborhood in the county was enacted Aug. 30 last year. A total of 142 flies and “well over 100” larvae were found, which indicates there was a breeding colony in the quarantine zone, according to a July 3 news release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office were also monitoring the situation.

“Detecting and eradicating invasive, exotic pest infestations is an important way to protect our food supply and our environment,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in the release. “Our response to Medfly infestations has evolved and improved over the years to the point where we have developed environmentally friendly techniques that allow us to respond quickly, confidently and effectively.”

The eradication program included the release of at least 500,000 sterile fruit flies every week for every square mile in the quarantine area. Authorities also used an organic pesticide and removed all fruit from trees in a 100-meter radius of breeding populations, according to the release.