Tau Fruit Fly Quarantine Expanded

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Pests, Regulation

Federal and state agriculture agencies on Aug. 15 expanded the Zeugodacus tau fruit fly quarantine in the Stevenson Ranch area of Los Angeles County, California. The action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Tau fruit fly (Photo courtesy of Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org)

The expansion was in response to the confirmed detections of 20 adult flies from various trapping sites in the Stevenson Ranch area by CDFA between Aug. 2 and Aug. 10. All detections were from traps in residential areas. As a result of the detections, the Stevenson Ranch area quarantine increased by 26 square miles, to 105 square miles. There is no commercial agriculture in the quarantine area.

APHIS and CDFA established the original Z. tau quarantine following the confirmed detection of nine flies from three trapping sites in the Stevenson Ranch area between June 7 and July 6.

The fly has a very wide host range, including numerous citrus varieties as well as a select range of native plants in California. This is the first Tau fruit fly quarantine ever in the Western Hemisphere.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from the area to prevent the spread of Z. tau fruit fly to non-infested areas of the United States. APHIS is working with CDFA and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commission to respond to these detections following program guidelines for survey, treatment and regulatory response.

The expansion of the quarantine is shown on a USDA APHIS website that contains a description of all current federal fruit fly quarantine areas.

Additional information about the Z. tau fruit fly quarantine area can be obtained from Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-789-8824 or richard.n.johnson@usda.gov.


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