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Fruit fly quarantines set up in L.A., San Bernardino counties

August 6, 2009 | 12:47 pm

FRUIT Authorities have set up two quarantine areas in L.A. and San Bernardino counties to combat two species of fruit flies discovered in fruit, vegetables and plants, state agriculture officials said today.

The quarantine zones cover a combined 165 square miles from Glendora to Pomona and Upland to the San Gabriel Mountains. The movement of fruits and plants grown in the quarantine areas is restricted and residents have been asked not to move plants and materials from their property.

Eleven fruit flies -- seven white-striped and four Oriental -- have been found over the last few weeks in the La Verne area.

Agriculture authorities are using pesticides to kill the flies to stem their spread. Damage to the fruit occurs when eggs laid inside hatch and the maggots tunnel through to the outside.

This is the first time the white-striped fruit fly, which is native to tropical Southeast Asia, has been detected in the Western Hemisphere, said officials with the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo: The Oriental fruit fly is among the most harmful of all fruit flies.Credit: JACK KELLY CLARK / University of California