Anastrepha ludens (Mexican Fruit Fly): APHIS Reduces the Quarantine in Cameron and Willacy Counties, Texas
On September 1, 2022, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) released portions of the Brownsville Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Cameron County, Texas, after three Mexfly life cycles elapsed with no additional detections in these areas. As a result of the release of these areas, which totaled 13.81 square miles and included 171.8 acres of commercial citrus, the Brownsville quarantine now encompasses 82.47 sq. mi. There are 150.1 acres of commercial citrus remaining in the quarantine area.
On September 8, 2022, APHIS and TDA released portions of the Lyford-Harlingen quarantine, which resulted in the removal of quarantined areas in the vicinity of Lyford in Willacy County and San Benito and Sebastian in Cameron County. As a result of the release of these areas, which totaled 121.95 sq. mi. and included 199 acres of commercial citrus, APHIS and TDA will revert to referring to the remaining quarantine area as the Harlingen quarantine. There are 152.69 sq. mi. and 1,387.3 acres of commercial citrus remaining in the Harlingen quarantine.
APHIS and TDA established the original Harlingen-Brownsville quarantine following the confirmed detections, between January 14 and February 3, 2020, of 79 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and 12 commercial groves in Cameron County, Texas. Subsequently, between February 4 and February 11, 2020, APHIS confirmed additional detections of 16 Mexfly adults and 16 Mexfly larval sites. APHIS and TDA responded to these confirmed additional detections by expanding the quarantine and restricting interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols.
The following website contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas:
Under IPPC standards, Anastrepha ludens is a pest that has been eradicated from Lyford, Willacy County and portions of the Brownsville quarantine area in Cameron County as well as portions of the Harlingen quarantine in the vicinity of San Benito and Sebastian in Cameron County, Texas. Following separate incursions, this pest is present only in two areas [Brownsville and Harlingen Quarantines] in Texas and one area in California. This species is not widely distributed and is under official control in the United States.