Medfly infestation triggers quarantine in portion of Solano County

October 5, 2017 2:30am

•  Four adult males and one unmated female detected

•  In and around Fairfield

A quarantine has been declared due to a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation in Solano County, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says.

A total of four adult males and one unmated female have been detected. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Solano County Agricultural Commissioner, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are working on this project.

The 85-square mile quarantine is in and around the city of Fairfield. It is bordered on the north by Alamo Drive; on the south by Montezuma Slough; on the west by Suisun Valley Road; and on the east by Travis Air Force Base.

Sterile male Medflies are being 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 50 -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, in order to remove any mated female Medflies and reduce the density of the population. Finally, fruit removal will occur within 100 meters of properties with larval detections and/or multiple-adult detections.

The quarantine will affect growers, wholesalers, and retailers of susceptible fruit in the area as well as 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 to nearby regions where it could affect California’s food supply and backyard gardens.

The Medfly is known to target more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables. Damage occurs when the female lays 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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