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Oriental fruit fly quarantine in portion of Santa Clara County

Christian Fernsby |
A portion of Santa Clara County, California has been placed under quarantine for the Oriental fruit fly following the detection of flies in and around the southern part of the City of San Jose, near the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

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The quarantine zone generally bordered on the north by the Alum Rock neighborhood, on the south by Santa Teresa County Park, on the west by South Bascom Avenue, and on the east by Joseph D. Grant County Park.

To prevent the spread of oriental fruit flies through homegrown fruits and vegetables, residents living in the quarantine area are urged not to move those items from their property.

However, they may be consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal) on the property where they were grown, or disposed of by double bagging, sealing, and placing in the regular trash bin, not green waste.

Following the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), CDFA primarily uses the “male attractant” technique to eradicate this pest.

Trained workers squirt a small patch of fly attractant mixed with a very small dose of organic pesticide approximately 10 feet off the ground on street trees and similar surfaces; male fruit flies are attracted to the mixture and perish after consuming it. This approach has successfully eliminated dozens of fruit fly infestations from California over the last several decades.

The oriental fruit fly is known to target over 230 different fruit, vegetable, and plant commodities. Damage occurs when the female fruit fly lays her eggs inside the fruit. The eggs hatch into maggots and tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

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