One Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine in Texas was recently removed, and portions of another Mexfly quarantine were released.
Federal and state officials on Oct. 13 removed the Mexfly quarantine in Harlingen, Cameron County, after three generations elapsed with no additional detections in the area. This action releases the final 108.17 square miles of the Harlingen quarantine, which contained 699.3 acres of commercial citrus. 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 Sept. 30 and Oct. 13, APHIS and TDA released portions of the Brownsville Mexfly quarantine area in Cameron County after three generations elapsed with no additional detections in these areas. As a result of the release of this area, which totaled 39.56 square miles and included 147.7 acres of commercial citrus, the Brownsville Mexfly quarantine now encompasses 42.91 square miles with no commercial citrus acreage.
APHIS and TDA established the original Harlingen-Brownsville, Cameron County quarantine following the confirmed detections, between Jan. 14 and Feb. 3, 2020, of 79 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and 12 commercial groves in Cameron County. Subsequently, between Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, 2020, APHIS confirmed additional detections of 16 Mexfly adults and 16 larval sites in this area. APHIS and TDA responded to these confirmed detections by expanding the quarantine in Cameron County and restricting interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of the pest to non-infested areas of the United States.
An APHIS website contains a description of all the current federal fruit fly quarantine areas.
Additional information on the Mexfly quarantine area can be obtained from APHIS Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109.
Source: USDA APHIS