Federal and state agriculture agencies on June 3 released portions of the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in Cameron County, Texas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) took the action after three pest lifecycles elapsed with no additional detections in the areas released from quarantine.
Releasing the areas, which totaled 94.75 square miles including 52.2 acres of commercial citrus, has resulted in reduction of the Cameron County quarantine to three smaller quarantines. APHIS and TDA posted these renamed quarantine areas: “Brownsville Mexfly quarantine” (229.1 square miles with 888 acres of commercial citrus), “Harlingen Mexfly quarantine” (323.9 square miles with 2,234 acres of commercial citrus) and “Las Yescas Mexfly quarantine” (62 square miles with 458.7 acres of commercial citrus) on their respective websites. These areas will be released from quarantine when each meets the quarantine release criterion.
APHIS and TDA established the original Cameron County quarantine following confirmed detections from Jan. 14 to Feb. 3, 2020, of 80 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and two commercial groves in Cameron County.
Subsequently, from Feb. 4 to Feb. 11, 2020, APHIS confirmed an additional 17 adults and 16 larval detections. APHIS and TDA responded to these additional confirmed detections by expanding the quarantine in Cameron County and restricting interstate movement of regulated articles from the area to prevent the spread of the pest to non-infested areas of the United States.
APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols. Learn about all current federal fruit fly quarantine areas. Additional information on the Mexfly quarantine area may be obtained from Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109.
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