The California Department of Food and Agriculture is once again preparing to battle the Oriental fruit fly, but at a different site.
Less than two months after an Oriental fruit fly infestation was declared to be eradicated in a Los Angeles suburb, another pocket of the pests has turned up near Sacramento, 400 miles north, a news release said.
Three of the insects were recently trapped in Elk Grove, southeast of Sacramento. The state agency will launch a treatment program covering more than seven square miles around the sites where the insects were trapped, the release said.
Female Oriental fruit flies bore into the produce to lay their eggs, and the maggots consume the flesh of the produce making it unfit for human consumption, the release said. The insect is a threat to more than 200 fruit and vegetable commodities, many of them grown in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The area where the fruit flies were detected, however, is primarily urban.
State officials plan to apply a male attractant laced with a pesticide to eradicate the pest, the release said.
The same approach was used in Southern California. It took nearly a year to declare the area free of the Oriental fruit fly.