Oct 16, 2019
California declares Medfly quarantine in San Bernadino

A quarantine has been declared due to a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) infestation in the unincorporated area of Devore, San Bernardino County.

A total of two adult males, two mated females and multiple larvae have been detected to date, according to a press release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

The Medfly is known to target more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables. Females lay eggs inside the fruit, and the eggs hatch into maggots and tunnel through the flesh of the fruit, making it unfit for consumption.

The quarantine area measures about 93 square miles, bordered on the north by Silverwood Lake; on the south by Muscoy and North Fontana; on the west by Lytle Creek; and on the east by Crestline. A quarantine map may be found here.

Sterile male Medflies are scheduled to be released in the area as part of the eradication effort, the CDFA said. The release rate will be 500,000 males per square mile per week in a 16 square mile area around the infestation. Also, properties within 200 meters of detections are being treated with an organic formulation of Spinosad – derived from naturally-occurring bacteria – order to remove any mated female Medflies and reduce the density of the population. Fruit will be removed within 100 meters of properties with larval detections and/or multiple-adult detections.

The sterile fly release program has a proven track record of success in California, CDFA said. The state has eradicated all Medfly infestations in California history, dating back more than 30 years.

Residents who believe their fruits and vegetables are infested with fruit fly larvae are encouraged to call the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

Above, a Medfly. Photo: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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