The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in Pinellas County. A quarantine has been established in the St. Petersburg area prohibiting the movement of fruit, vegetables, and nuts without a compliance agreement from the department.
“This detection highlights the importance of our world class exotic pest surveillance system,” said FDACS Division of Plant Industry Director, Dr. Trevor Smith. “Our staff, working closely with our federal partners, has begun a treatment program to eradicate this destructive pest.”
The initial flies were discovered during routine trapping and additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. State and federal agriculture inspectors monitor more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an early detection network against exotic fruit fly introductions that threaten Florida’s agricultural well-being.
The Oriental fruit fly has been trapped several times in Florida since 1964 and each time has been successfully eradicated. This species is considered one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm. It attacks more than 436 different fruits, vegetables and nuts, including fig, loquat, mango, orange, peach, plum, sapote, soursop, Surinam cherry, tangerine, tropical almond and guava. The fruit flies lay their eggs in host fruits and vegetables. In a few days, the eggs hatch and maggots render the fruits or vegetables inedible.
For more information: www.FDACS.gov/OFF