The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced on Sept. 23 that the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) has been eradicated from Pinellas County.
In June, FDACS Division of Plant Industry positively identified oriental fruit flies detected during routine trapping. Additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. A quarantine was established in the St. Petersburg area that prohibited the movement of fruit, vegetables and nuts without a compliance agreement from FDACS. As of Sept. 23, the treatment of this area for oriental fruit fly was complete, and no additional detections have been made in three lifecycles of the fly. Therefore, eradication was declared, and the quarantine was lifted.
“Oriental fruit flies have the ability to cause devastating losses to our food supply and producers, making quick eradication efforts vital,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
State and federal agriculture inspectors monitor more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an early detection network against exotic fruit fly introductions that threaten Florida’s agricultural well-being.
“This program highlights the importance of our world-class exotic pest surveillance system and the cutting-edge science we use to eradicate catastrophic plant pests like oriental fruit fly,” said Division of Plant Industry Director Trevor Smith.
The Oriental fruit fly has been trapped several times in Florida since 1964. It has been successfully eradicated each time.
This species is considered one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm. It feeds on more than 436 different fruits, vegetables and nuts, including fig, loquat, mango, orange, peach, plum, sapote, soursop, Surinam cherry, tangerine, tropical almond and guava. The fruit flies lay their eggs in host fruits and vegetables. In a few days, the eggs hatch and maggots render the fruits or vegetables inedible.
Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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