September 28, 2008

Oriental fruit fly "invasion"

Fortunately this time the county/state is not using aerial malathion spraying to kill the fruit flies as they did with the Mediterranean fruit fly in the early 1990's as that likely killed off millions of badly needed honey bees that help to pollinate the fruit trees and everything else. See more on the bee crisis (colony collapse disorder) here

Crop-Destroying Fruit Flies Found In Lakewood

LAKEWOOD A half-dozen Oriental fruit flies were found in Lakewood traps this week, causing agricultural officials to extend eradication efforts for at least eight more weeks to combat the crop-destroying pest, it was announced Thursday.

Eight of the insects were discovered in the Lakewood and Pasadena-San Marino areas between July 23 and Aug. 16.

Having emerged victorious after a long battle with the Mediterranean fruit fly, state and county officials moved quickly to protect the state's $32 billion agricultural industry, initiating a series of treatments using pesticide-laced bait to attract and kill male fruit flies.

The bait, sprayed on utility poles, is applied every other week, said Ken Pellman of the county Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures.

State agriculture workers also have been cutting and checking fruit growing in the area for the presence of maggots.

A quarantine established to restrict the movement of fruit and vegetables from or through the Lakewood area covers a 75-square-mile region where the bulk of the fruit flies were found.

It was not immediately clear when the quarantine would be lifted.

No aerial treatments have been planned, according to county officials.

The Oriental fruit fly is described by agricultural experts as one of the world's most destructive insect pests. Mated females lay eggs inside a wide variety fruits and vegetables. The maggots that hatch from those eggs then feed on the flesh of the produce, rendering it unfit to eat.

Originating from Southeast Asia, the insect has established itself in Hawaii and other Pacific islands.

Further information is available by calling the California Department of Food and Agriculture Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.

Those wanting to transport fruits or plants in or out of the region should call (562) 940-7803.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
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