Authorities Try to Contain Newly Discovered Fruit Fly

Flytraps will be set in a 15-square-mile area

Seven white striped fruit flies recently found in the La Verne area mark the first time that variety of the crop-damaging pest has been detected in the Western Hemisphere, state officials said today.

In an attempt to avoid an infestation, beginning tomorrow, flytraps will be set in a 15-square-mile area, and the trees where the first flies were found will be sprayed with a fly-killing chemical, officials said.

The seven white striped fruit flies were caught in traps in the La Verne area, said Steve Lyle of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

“The fly is native to tropical Southeast Asia, where it damages the fruit of many trees, most notably guava and mango,” Lyle said.

“Damage occurs when the female lays eggs inside the fruit,” Lyle said. “The eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.”

Beginning Saturday, crews will place several thousand traps, each containing a “male attractant” lure and a small amount of pesticide, in trees through about 15 square miles in the La Verne area, Lyle said.

The traps, also known as “bait stations,” attract and kill the male flies, effectively eliminating breeding.

Also, within 200 meters of the sites where the seven fruit flies were found, crews will spray trees to get rid of other flies, Lyle said.

Residents of the properties that are scheduled for traps or foliage treatments will be notified before the applications, Lyle said.

A detailed map of the treatment area is available online.

Residents with questions about the program can call the CDFA's pest hotline at (800) 491-1899.
 

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