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Plant-killing Oriental fruit flies found in Alhambra

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Thursday that it is preparing to treat in Alhambra for the crop-destroying Oriental fruit fly after three were recently detected.

Red dots mark where the Oriental Fruit Fly was found in Alhambra

The Oriental fruit fly targets more than 230 different fruits, vegetables and plants.  When the female lays eggs inside the fruit, they eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption, according to the CDFA.

"Fruit flies are a serious threat to our state's crops, and also to our environment and our backyard gardens," CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a statement."We urge Californians who travel abroad not to bring back fruits, vegetables, seeds or other prohibited plant material."

Twenty miles surrounding where the flies were detected, encompassing Alhambra and including San Gabriel, Monterey Park and LA as well, will be part of the treatment area. Eradication of the Oriental fruit fly primarily relies upon a process known as "male attractant," in which workers squirt a small patch of fly attractant mixed with a very small dose of pesticide approximately 8 to 10 feet off the ground to light poles, street trees and similar surfaces.   Male flies are attracted to the mixture and die after consuming it.

Last year an 89-square-mile area around Pasadena and San Marino was quarantined due to Oriental fruit flies.

More information on the Oriental Fruit Fly and the CDFA's efforts to control them.

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3 thoughts on “Plant-killing Oriental fruit flies found in Alhambra”

  1. Thanks for the feedback — I'll try and find out more information specific to this outbreak. In the meantime, the California Department of Food & Agriculture has a “Report a Pest” site and directions on what to do. I've pasted them below.

    • CONTACT YOUR LOCAL COUNTY AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT. Inform them that you wish to report a pest sighting. Links to county agriculture websites can be found using the “Interactive Map” or the “Drop-Down Menu” provided on the “Find Your Local County Agriculture Department” page.
    • OR, complete the CDFA “Report a Pest Sighting Form” online and submit via email to the CDFA Pest Hotline.
    • OR, report a pest by calling the CDFA Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.
    • OR, download and complete the CDFA “Report a Pest Sighting Form” and mail to the address provided at the top of the form. Note: sending specimens by mail is not recommended. Contact your local county agriculture department for instructions before doing so.
    • Reporting Tip: the CDFA Report a Pest Sighting Form can be downloaded and completed for use as a prep tool when contacting your local county agriculture department or when calling the CDFA Pest Hotline. The form provides you with the type of questions you may be asked by your local county agriculture department or by the CDFA Hotline operator.
  2. I had one of these crawl out from one of the cabbages in my garden! It was rather large–I thought it was some kind of wasp.

    Please let us know about reporting sightings–or if there is anything we home gardeners can do to deter them.

  3. Does CDFA want us to do anything or report sightings? I have seen them in my garden the past few weeks. I saw 2 today!

    I did not know what I was seeing until your article. I was wondering what kind of insect looked like a cross between a fly and a bee. Now I know!!