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.
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.