The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared several Australian states free of Mediterranean fruit flies.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service now recognizes New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria as Medfly-free, according to a ruling published in the Aug. 29 Federal Register.
In addition, the state of Western Australia has been ruled free of Queensland fruit flies.
APHIS has recognized various areas of Australia as free of Medflies, Queensland fruit flies and other fruit flies destructive to citrus for more than 10 years, and no fruit fly problems have occurred as a result of commodities being imported into the U.S. from these areas, according to the ruling.
Medfly populations are restricted to a small part of the southwestern Australia and isolated communities in coastal towns in the northern part of the state.
And with the exception of a fruit fly exclusion zone in parts of South Australia, northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, populations of Queensland fruit fly are restricted to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.
Although APHIS is recognizing parts of Australia as free of Medfly and another part as free of the Queensland fruit fly, fruit from these areas will still require mitigation, typically quarantine treatment, before importation into the United States.
Those treatments, however, will be less stringent in an area where just once of the pests, not both, is present, according to APHIS.
Cherries, for instance, have been treated with both cold treatment for Queensland fruit fly and methyl bromide for Medfly.
Now, though, since no area of Australia is home to both Medfly and Queensland fruit fly, cherries will only need one treatment.