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San Mateo County placed under quarantine for Mediterranean fruit fly

Staff Writer |
A portion of San Mateo County has been placed under quarantine for the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) following the detection of two Medflies within the City of Half Moon Bay.

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CDFA is working collaboratively with the USDA and the San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner’s office on this project.

The quarantine area measures 56 square miles, bordered on the north by San Vicente Creek; on the south by Lobitos Creek Road; on the west by the Pacific Ocean; and on the east by Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Sterile male Medflies will be released in the area as part of the eradication effort.

The release rate will be 500,000 males per square mile per week in a 12 square mile area around the infestation.

In addition, properties within 200 meters of detection sites are being treated with an organic formulation of Spinosad, which originates from naturally-occurring bacteria.

Sterile male Medflies are provided by the joint CDFA/USDA sterile insect rearing facility in Los Alamitos, which prepares sterile files for release every day over the Los Angeles basin. The sterile release program has a proven track record of success in California.

Sterile male flies mate with fertile female flies in the natural environment but produce no offspring.

The Medfly population decreases as the wild flies reach the end of their natural life span with no offspring to replace them, ultimately resulting in the eradication of the pest.

The quarantine will affect any growers, wholesalers, and retailers of susceptible fruit in the area as well as nurseries that grow and sell Medfly host plants.

The quarantine will also affect local residents – home gardeners are urged to consume homegrown produce on site and not move it from their property. These actions protect against the artificial spread of the infestation.

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