Texas Mexfly Updates Issued

Josh McGill Pests, Regulation, Texas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in late June announced updates regarding Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantines in Texas:

On April 29, APHIS and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) established a Mexfly quarantine in Lyford, Willacy County, Texas. APHIS and TDA established the Lyford quarantine following the confirmed detection of a mature mated female Mexfly from a trap in a sweet orange tree in a residential area. The Lyford quarantine encompassed 113.85 square miles with 45.2 acres of commercial citrus.

Texas Mexfly
Mexican fruit fly (Photo by Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org)

Also on April 29, APHIS and TDA expanded two Cameron County, Texas, quarantine areas following the confirmed detections of adult Mexflies from traps and larvae from fruit cuttings from various citrus trees in residential areas and citrus groves. The Brownsville quarantine area expanded from 132.2 square miles to 153.74 square miles; there was no change in the affected commercial citrus acreage. The Harlingen quarantine area expanded from 190.4 square miles to 245.02 square miles; the affected citrus acreage increased from 1,769.9 acres to 1,938.6 acres.

On May 12, APHIS and TDA further expanded the Lyford, Willacy County, Texas, quarantine area following the confirmed detection of an immature Mexfly from a sour orange at a residence in Sebastian, Willacy County. This expansion caused the Harlingen and Lyford quarantine areas to merge, which created the Harlingen/Lyford quarantine in Cameron and Willacy Counties.

On May 27, APHIS and TDA merged the Harlingen/Lyford quarantine with the Weslaco, Hidalgo County, Texas, quarantine area following the confirmed detection of a mated female Mexfly from a trap in a citrus tree in a residential area. The Harlingen/Lyford/Weslaco quarantine encompasses 506.6 square miles with 3,314.7 acres of commercial citrus in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties.

Also on May 27, APHIS and TDA established a Mexfly quarantine in Hargill, Willacy County, Texas, following the confirmed detection of a mature mated female Mexfly from a trap in a sweet orange tree in a residential area and two larvae in a nearby commercial citrus grove. The Hargill quarantine encompasses 91.12 square miles with 2,616.3 acres of commercial citrus.

APHIS works cooperatively with TDA to eradicate transient Mexfly populations through various control actions per program protocols and in applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from these areas. These actions are necessary to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States.

A description of all the current federal fruit fly quarantine areas is available here.

Contact Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109 for additional information on the Mexfly quarantine areas.

Source: USDA APHIS

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