The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) established a new Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine area in the Escondido area of San Diego County, California, following the confirmed detection of a Medfly population in that area. APHIS is applying restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantine area. These actions are necessary to prevent the spread of Medfly to non-infested areas of the United States.
On September 9, 2009, one adult mated female Medfly was detected on a residential property in the Escondido area of San Diego, California. APHIS, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, is responding to this confirmed Medfly finding. This confirmed finding triggered the establishment of the new quarantine area, which encompasses approximately 77-square miles of San Diego County. This new, distinct Medfly quarantine area is northeast of two previously established Medfly quarantine areas in San Diego County. There is approximately 1,600 acres of commercial production of host commodities within this new quarantine area including mostly avocados and citrus, plus small amounts of acreage in persimmons, peaches, plums, pears, and guavas.
Under IPPC standards, Ceratitis capitata is considered to be a pest that is transient, actionable, and under eradication.
Fruit fly traps have been deployed at protocol levels to conduct a delimitation survey surrounding the new Medfly detection site. Spinosad foliar bait spray treatments are being applied to all host trees within 200 meters of the detection site at 7 to 10 day intervals. As a treatment to control Medfly populations within the new quarantine area, Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is being conducted in a 9-square mile treatment area surrounding the detection site. SIT is an eradicative tool, which consists of the aerial release of sterile male Medflies to inundate the detected wild population to reduce reproduction. Sterile male Medflies are released at rate of 250,000 per square mile per week. The weekly release of Sterile Medflies will continue in the San Diego area through two projected Medfly life cycles since the date of the latest detection.
This action became effective on September 30, 2009. This establishment of this quarantine area will be reflected on the following designated website, which contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas: