Five-Year Strategy for Fruit Flies Announced

Daniel CooperPests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has released its Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection Program Strategy. The plan covers the period of 2024 to 2028.

Queensland fruit fly

The agency called the document “a unified roadmap” for protecting American agriculture from the threat of invasive fruit flies. USDA APHIS worked with members of the National Plant Board to develop the strategy.

Invasive fruit flies feed on more than 400 crops, including citrus, other fruits, nuts and vegetables.

“The United States is experiencing an unusually high number of invasive fruit fly detections — the worst of its kind in 70 years,” said Mark Davidson, USDA APHIS deputy administrator for the Plant Protection and Quarantine program. “Our five-year plan lays out how federal and state partners can continue to limit the flies’ spread as we further scientific research that will help us develop better pest management tools and options.”


The strategy prioritizes strengthening the following goals for fruit flies of regulatory significance:

  • Domestic surveillance to support early detection
  • Management and emergency response to ensure timely mitigation
  • Targeted and effective sterile insect technique for preventive release and eradication programs (assuring rearing facilities are maintained for efficiency and safety)
  • International and import efforts to mitigate against the introduction and spread of invasive fruit flies in the United States.

To address the unprecedented outbreaks of exotic fruit flies, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently released $103.5 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to fund APHIS’ supplementary emergency response activities. These funds allow APHIS to reach beyond what the agency’s appropriated funding would be able to accomplish over the next few years. 


Currently, there are exotic fruit fly quarantines in eight counties in California.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture and APHIS are working with California’s agricultural commissioners to eradicate and prevent the statewide spread of the Queensland fruit fly, Tau fruit fly, Mediterranean fruit fly and Oriental fruit fly. Learn about these fruit flies here.


APHIS and affected states will work together to reduce, and to the extent possible, prevent human-assisted movement. The strategy drives federal and state responders to explore new population suppression technologies, such as male annihilation technique, mass trapping and the development of new and/or improved sterile fruit fly strains.

The new strategy also builds the capacity to combat invasive fruit flies in areas at high risk of introduction and will leverage the public’s assistance to prevent further spread of these damaging agricultural pests.

Federal and state partners will also unite their research resources and share knowledge about fruit flies to limit their movement and distribution.


Share this Post

Sponsored Content