A quarantine has been established in the St. Petersburg area of Pinellas County due to the presence of an ag pest, the Oriental fruit fly.

Routine traps caught two males of a serious ag pest, the Oriental fruit fly, in Pinellas County in May. Two more male flies and one female fly were caught in additional traps in June. This triggered an ag quarantine of the St. Petersburg area of Pinellas County by The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), according to a FDACS press release. See the details below.

Details of the Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine

The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is “considered one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm,” according to the press release. The press release maintains the fly is considered a pest of over 436 fruits, vegetables, and nuts, including fig, loquat, mango, orange, peach, plum, sapote, soursop, Surinam cherry, tangerine, tropical almond and guava.

Over 56,000 fruit fly traps are monitored statewide by state and federal agriculture inspectors. Treatment aimed at eradicating the flies include male annihilation technique (MAT), foliar spot treatment, soil drench treatment, and fruit removal.

Those within the quarantine, both residents and commercial entities, may not move fruit, vegetables, or nuts without a compliance agreement from FDACS. See more information on the quarantine and its radius here, or more information can be found by calling the Division of Plant Industry Helpline at 1-888-397-1517.