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US (CT): Quarantine in Fairfield after Mediterranean fruit flies found

The Solano County Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working together to create an extensive survey and treatment program in response to the finding of four Mediterranean fruit flies.

County Agriculture Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures Jim Allan explained Wednesday morning during a press conference that detecting only two medflies would have warranted a quarantine. He added that the first fruit fly was found earlier this month near the Tolenas area, an unincorporated part of Fairfield, and Monday three more were found.

A “great number” of crops in California are threatened by the introduction of this pest: apple, apricot, avocado, bell pepper, fig, grape, grapefruit, lemon, lime, melon, nectarine, orange, peach, pear, persimmon, plum, pomegranate, tangerine, tomato and walnut, according to state agriculture officials.

Allan said, fortunately, it’s nearing the end of the harvest season for the “soft fruits,” but that he would put the medfly as No.1 on the list of top 10 pests because of the devastation the tiny insect can cause.

Allan said that when the first fruit fly was found this month, some 1,100 traps were placed within an 81-square-mile area. All four were found within a “narrowly-focused area” and, he added, medflies were found in a suburban area surrounded by ranchettes.

Vasquez said that the community has been on board for the pest’s elimination.

“The community has been very active and understands its importance,” he said.

The specifics of the quarantine are set to be released in the next couple of days, Pegos said.

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