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Fruit fly discovery brings quarantine of Anaheim, part of L.A. County

October 21, 2011 | 10:00 am

Fruit flyA dozen Oriental fruit flies have been detected in Anaheim, causing the area to be quarantined as agricultural officials work to eradicate the potentially lethal crop pest.

The 75-mile radius includes 70 miles in Orange County, including all of Anaheim, and some parts of Los Angeles County. The insects were first detected Oct. 12.

To get rid of the fly, crews with the state Department of Food and Agriculture will squirt small patches of fly attractant mixed with pesticide on street trees and other surfaces eight to 10 feet off the ground.

They will also remove fruits and vegetables from yards where the bugs were found.

"People are free to pick and consume their fruit, but we don't want it to leave the area because there could be larvae of the bug on the fruit and you'd never know," said Jay Van Rein, spokesman for the state department.

The fruit fly, which targets more than 230 different fruits, vegetables and plants, has been detected at seven sites across California. Stockton is the only other area under quarantine, Van Rein said.

Often times, the fly enters the state by "hitchhiking" in fruits and vegetables brought illegally from infested parts of the world, such as Southern Asia and nearby islands.


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Photo: The Oriental fruit fly. Credit: Jack Kelly Clark, University of California Coop Extension.