close-up of the fly

The Tau fruit fly is an invasive risk to California.Severyn Korneyev/California Division of Meals and Agriculture

  • A fruit fly invasion has led to the quarantine of a 79-square-mile area of Los Angeles County.

  • Residents are free to return and go beneath the quarantine, however their produce isn’t.

  • That is the primary time the fly’s invasion has resulted in a quarantine within the Western Hemisphere.

A 79-square-mile space of Los Angeles County has been positioned beneath quarantine after greater than 20 invasive fruit flies have been discovered.

However this is not a quarantine for folks, just like the COVID restrictions we’re all used to — it is a quarantine of vegatables and fruits solely.

The California Division of Meals and Agriculture introduced in a press launch final week that it detected greater than 20 invasive Tau fruit flies, that are native to Asia, in Stevenson Ranch, an unincorporated space close to Santa Clarita.

The fly has been noticed in California 3 times because it was first detected in 2016, however was efficiently eradicated every time, the CDFA says on its web site. That is the primary time the fly’s invasion has resulted in a quarantine within the Western Hemisphere, in keeping with the CDFA.

To stop the flies from spreading, folks dwelling within the quarantined space can’t take any fruits or greens off their property, the company suggested.

Apple tree in an orchard.

Persons are suggested to not take away any produce from their property to keep away from spreading the invasive Tau fruit fly.John Coletti / Getty Photographs

The produce, nevertheless, “could also be consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or floor within the rubbish disposal) on the property the place they have been picked,” the CDFA mentioned within the press launch. “In any other case, they need to be disposed of by double-bagging in plastic and putting the luggage in a bin particularly for rubbish.”

However, residents would possibly wish to suppose twice earlier than plucking an apple off a tree and biting into it — there may very well be larvae dwelling inside. The CDFA explains on its web site that the “grownup feminine lays eggs in host fruit and the larvae tunnel by means of and feed on this fruit.”

The CDFA says the fly can also be a “critical” pest for agriculture and pure sources. It might infect an in depth listing of produce, together with melon, peppers, papayas, citrus, and cucumber.

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