Texas Mexfly Quarantine Established

Ernie NeffPests


Effective Nov. 5, 2020, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) established a Mexican fruit fly quarantine in Lasara, Willacy County, Texas. The pest is commonly referred to as Mexfly. APHIS, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area.

APHIS reported the action was taken “because on November 5, APHIS confirmed one mated female Mexfly from a trap in a mandarin tree in a residential area. APHIS, in conjunction with TDA, is responding to this confirmed detection with the establishment of a new quarantine area, which encompasses approximately 64 square miles of Lasara, Willacy County. There are 680 acres of commercial citrus within the quarantine area. APHIS is working with TDA to respond to this detection following program survey and treatment protocols. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States.”

Learn more here about the establishment of the new quarantine area and a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas.

APHIS and TDA in late July removed a previous Mexfly quarantine area in Lasara. That quarantine in Lasara had been established in January; learn more about the previous action.

Additional information on the Mexfly program is available from Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) describes the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) as a very serious pest of various fruits, particularly citrus and mango, in Mexico and Central America. Its natural distribution includes the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and it is a frequent invader in southern California and Arizona. Mexican fruit fly represents a particular threat to Florida because of its special affinity for grapefruit.

Source: USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

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