Federal and state authorities on Aug. 10 removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Weslaco, Hidalgo County, Texas. This area was a portion of the Harlingen-Lyford-Weslaco quarantine. The action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA).
On April 8, APHIS and TDA established a Mexfly quarantine in Weslaco and restricted interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. This action was necessary after APHIS confirmed one mated female Mexfly from a trap in a sweet orange tree in a residential area. On May 27, APHIS and TDA merged the Weslaco quarantine with the Harlingen-Lyford quarantine following the confirmed detection of a mated female Mexfly from a trap in a citrus tree in a residential area.
Since that time, APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols. APHIS removed the quarantine area after three Mexfly life cycles elapsed with no additional detections in this area.
The establishment of this quarantine area is reflected on this APHIS website, which contains a description of all current federal fruit fly quarantine areas.
Additional information on the Mexfly quarantine area may be obtained from APHIS Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109.
Mexfly is a serious pest of fruit crops. It is especially damaging to citrus, mango and peaches, and has a strong affinity for grapefruit. Mexflies are abundant breeders. A single female may lay up to 1,500 eggs in her lifetime. In addition to Texas, Mexflies have been found in Arizona, southern California and Florida.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s APHIS
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