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Warning: The information in this archived item was not confirmed with the appropriate National Plant Protection Organization and is provided solely for informational purposes. Please use this information with caution.

Subject: Medfly, Ceratitis capitata, in California
Date posted: September 07, 2001
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) detected a second mated female Medfly on August 29, 2001, in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles, California. The initial detection of a mated female within the Preventative Release Program (PRP) area was on June 21, 2001. Subsequent determination showed that the sperm was consistent with that of sterile Medfly. The second Medfly detection, also within the PRP area, is six blocks south of the previous find and determined to be mated with a wild fly.
On September 5, 2001, PRP personnel started stripping and cutting primary host material within the six block area between the two detections. On September 5, 2001, eight larvae (3rd instar) were detected primarily in grapefruit from a single large tree. There is very little host material since the area of the infestation is primarily residential and made up mostly of apartment buildings. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture and CDFA eradication protocols and procedures, detection of a mated Medfly female, or up to five of any fly stage, within a 5 square mile urban or residential area triggers immediate ground spray, soil treatment, and fruit stripping.
A formal Proclamation of Eradication to be issued by CDFA is anticipated for treatment of the infestation prior to the ground application of protein bait spray 200 meters around the known detections. In addition, following fruit stripping on all larval properties and those immediately adjacent, approved soil drenches with diazinon will be applied within the drip line of all host plants commencing September 10, 2001. Coordinated with the ground bait sprays will be an increase in distribution of sterile Medflies within a 14-square-mile area to a level no less than 250,000 sterile adult flies per square mile per week.
The infestation represents a major threat to the agriculture and environment of California. APHIS is cooperating with CDFA and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in survey, fruit cutting, treatment applications, regulation, environmental monitoring, and development of a program specific Mediterranean Fruit Fly Cooperative Program Environmental Assessment.

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