Invasive fruit flies threaten Sacramento County produce

(FOX40.COM) — An invasive fly species that poses a threat to consumable produce has been detected in Sacramento County, according to a news release from the county on Tuesday.

Known as the Oriental fruit fly, it can make more than 300 types of fruits and vegetables unfit for human consumption, according to the county.

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The adult oriental fruit fly is somewhat larger than a housefly, about 8 mm in length. The body color is variable but generally bright yellow with a dark “T” shape marking on the abdomen. The wings are clear. The female has a pointed slender ovipositor to deposit eggs under the skin of host fruit. Eggs are minute cylinders laid in batches. The maggots (larvae) are creamy-white, legless, and may attain a length of 10 mm inside host fruit.

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Sacramento County has now been placed under quarantine due to the detection of the Oriental fruit fly, which asks residents to take care of two things if they grow produce at home.

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Under quarantine, fruits and/or vegetables grown in backyard gardens should not be moved from their properties.

Produce can be consumed or processed at the property where they are grown and if produce is not consumed it should be double-bagged in plastic and placed in the garbage bin, not green waste.

For more information about how to handle produce in a fruit fly quarantine zone click here.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) said that the state is seeing uncommonly high numbers of invasive fruit flies and has initiated local regulatory measures to prevent further infestation.

The four main fruit flies that the state is working to combat are the Queensland Fruit Fly, Tau Fly, Mediterranean Fruit Fly and Oriental Fruit Fly.

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