September 23, 2023

SANTA CLARA COUNTY — Officers deliberate two new rounds of pest-control efforgts after discovering extra West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in San Jose and the invention of fruit flies that carry a dire menace to native agriculture in Santa Clara.

The California Division of Meals and Agriculture mentioned it was taking “emergency motion” to stop the unfold of the oriental fruit fly after two flies had been discovered within the areas surrounding Cupertino, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale inside the previous month.

“It will be disastrous for the oriental fruit fly to get established in Santa Clara County and California,”  County of Santa Clara Agricultural Commissioner Joe Deviney mentioned in an announcement.

The flies, that are native to Asia however have unfold to a number of islands within the Pacific Ocean, burrow into vegatables and fruits, making them inedible. In complete, the fly threatens greater than 200 varieties of meals grown in California, nearly $20 billion price of crops, based on the state company.

Authorities additionally mentioned that they had detected different “suspected” fruit flies in the identical space and had been awaiting affirmation of these findings.

In response to the state agriculture company, oriental fruit flies can hitchhike into California when individuals convey dwelling vegatables and fruits from out of state, or obtain fruit in mail packages.

The remedy — which was set to start Saturday night time — will initially goal the areas the place the primary fruit flies had been situated, however may develop over the following a number of weeks. The division can be making use of bait containing a pesticide, spinosad, on road bushes, utility poles and different areas 8 to 10 toes off the bottom.

Officers mentioned the fruit-fly remedy has been generally utilized in California and america for years, and is secure for people.

Residents who could discovered fruit that’s infested can contact the County of Santa Clara Division of Agriculture at [email protected] or 408-918-4600.

The most recent West Nile discovery was confirmed in an space simply south of downtown San Jose surrounding Kelley Park, county officers mentioned in a separate information launch. The Santa Clara County Vector Management District mentioned the world could be handled beginning 10 p.m. Tuesday, lasting roughly 4 hours.

Since West Nile virus arrived in California in 2003, 7,000 individuals have contracted the illness. The virus continues to be the illness unfold most by bugs in america, officers mentioned this week.

Residents don’t must relocate in the course of the operations, the district mentioned, including that mosquito therapies pose minimal threat to individuals, pets, animals, and the surroundings when utilized by a licensed skilled. However these wishing to take further precautions can stay indoors with home windows and doorways shut whereas the operation is underway.