Eradication Efforts Underway Against the Oriental Fruit Fly
The Oriental fruit fly was found in three different locations in south Miami-Dade County, prompting an eradication effort by FDACS.
The Oriental fruit fly is considered “one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm,” according to a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) press release. It’s been detected in Florida multiple times over the years, with the last being in 2015. Three different specimens were found in south Miami-Dade County recently; take a look at the eradication efforts and what to look for on your Florida farm, below.
The History of the Oriental Fruit Fly
According to the FDACS press release, the Oriental fruit fly, or Bactrocera dorsalis, was first detected in Florida in 1964. The ag pest lays its eggs in over 400 fruits, vegetables, and nuts, including “avocado, fig, grapefruit, guava, loquat, mango, roseapple, papaya, peach, persimmon, Suriname cherry and white sapote,” according to the press release. The eggs and hatching larvae ruin the produce.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, said in the press release, “We successfully eradicated this invasive pest, protecting Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry, three years ago, and together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture we’ll implement an aggressive eradication program to do so again.”
The process for fighting the Oriental fruit fly includes placing bait, to attract male flies to their deaths, “applied every other week to the upper portion of utility poles, trees and inanimate objects for a period of two life cycles of the fly (approximately 60 days) past the date of the last detection. A third life cycle (approximately 30 days) after the treatment is complete, and no additional fly has been detected, is also required to declare eradication.”
Find information on the Oriental fruit fly here.
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