The oriental fruit fly, bactrocera dorsalis has been discovered sudden high concentrations in growing areas in Florida and California, causing Florida Department of Agriculture head Adam Putnam to declare an agricultural “State Of Emergency.”
In South Florida the devastating bugs are threatening crops such as mangos, papayas, avocados, tomatoes and just about any crop that grows in South Florida Miami Dade area, . The infestation is the largest outbreak in State history and aggressive action is being taken to contain it. An 85 square mile area in Redman Florida seems to be ground zero and has been quarantined. While this may not sound like a large area, its an area with a high concentration of packing houses.
In Los Angeles, while the situation is not as bad, the discovery of oriental fruit flies in traps has created concern and the situation is being closely monitored. California officials are enlisting the aid of home vegetable growers requesting that home grown vegetables and fruits not be shared, in other words, not leave the property where they were grown and to destroy uneaten fruit or vegetables in garbage disposals.
This type of fruit fly is not like the tiny drosophila. The Asian fruit flies are bigger than houseflies. When they lay their eggs inside the fruit maggots are the result, eating their way through the host fruit to ruin destroy and multiply.