WASHINGTON POST – Part of Los Angeles County is under an agricultural quarantine after officials detected an invasive type of fruit fly in Stevenson Ranch, near the city of Santa Clarita.
The 79-square-mile quarantine — which restricts the movement of fruits and vegetables, not people — was prompted by the discovery of more than 20 Tau fruit flies and is the first caused by the species in the Western Hemisphere, said California’s Department of Food and Agriculture.
Female Tau fruit flies lay eggs onto host fruits that include okra, melons, peppers, papaya, citrus, cucumbers, pumpkins, avocados, tomatoes and gourds, causing the produce to rot.
“The puncturing of fruit during egg laying admits decay organisms that cause tissue breakdown,” the Agriculture Department said in a report published last month. “Larval feeding reduces the interior of fruit to a rotten mass.”
A single female can lay more than 400 eggs in her lifetime, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Adult Tau fruit flies, about seven millimeters in length, originate in Southeast Asia and aren’t established in the United States … READ MORE [subscription may be required]