September 23, 2023

The detection of oriental fruit flies has prompted officers to declare a quarantine of homegrown vegetables and fruit in parts of Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties by mid-2024.

The oriental fruit flies, an invasive pest native to Asia, are recognized to burrow themselves into a whole lot of fruits, rendering them inedible, in response to a information launch from the county. Among the many fruits most prone to the pest are key California crops like avocados, apples, citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppers.

“It might be disastrous for the oriental fruit fly to get established in Santa Clara County and California,” county Agricultural Commissioner Joe Deviney stated within the assertion. “All of us have to be vigilant in defending our agricultural and pure sources. Please don’t deliver or ship any fruits, greens or vegetation into California with out making certain they’re permitted by legislation.”

In efforts to stop the unfold of the flies, the quarantine covers a 112-square-mile space that features the whole lot of Santa Clara and parts of Cupertino, Milpitas, San Jose and Sunnyvale.

In Contra Costa County, the quarantine is a 99-square mile space, prompted by the invention final month of seven male oriental fruit flies. Included are most of Brentwood and parts of Oakley, Discovery Bay and Antioch.

Below the quarantine, which is anticipated to final till June 1, 2024, residents inside the limits are required to maintain homegrown fruit at their residence. The crops can nonetheless be eaten or processed, but when they’re disposed of, the crops have to be double-bagged and sealed.

Some companies, together with farms, plant nurseries, farmers markets and fruit distributors, can be affected by the quarantine. County officers will work with companies to ascertain compliance agreements to make sure that infested supplies don’t depart quarantine areas.

“They’ve reached out to us they usually’ve informed us we’re going to be encompassed in (a number of markets),” stated Jerry Lami, the chief director of the West Coast Farmers Market Affiliation, which operates 11 farmers markets throughout the Bay Space.

Lami stated many vegetables and fruit will have to be lined with material or plastic wrap, which might stop bugs from touchdown on them and laying eggs. Distributors can be required to deliver fewer crops to markets, as leftovers gained’t be allowed again on farm property after being uncovered at market.

He added that officers within the South Bay have been nonetheless attempting to find out which vegetables and fruit the flies could be concentrating on.

Contra Costa County introduced its personal infestation of oriental fruit flies on the finish of August, after officers stated that they had detected seven male flies close to Brentwood and Oakley. On Wednesday, the state farm and agriculture division introduced its quarantine, primarily based on the outcomes of surveying to find out the unfold of the pest.

A quarantine of the same scale was imposed in 2021 when oriental fruit flies have been found within the Santa Clara Valley. The quarantine principally centered on the southern a part of San Jose.

Throughout the quarantine, the California Division of Meals and Agriculture will place bait on timber, poles and different surfaces close to the realm the flies have been discovered. The bait incorporates an natural pesticide, spinosad, which kills the flies. In line with the county, this technique is protected for folks and pets.