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Mexican Fruit Fly Invades San Diego County
Sixty-Five Square Miles Placed in Quarantine


The quarantined area includes the town of Encinitas, which borders McClellan-Palomar Airport in northern San Diego County and the Pacific Ocean. The invasive species will force nursery growers to treat plants before they are sold, or pull them from the shelves, and will also affect home gardens.

The California Association of Pest Control is concerned about a Mexican fruit fly infestation in San Diego County. The quarantined area borders the Pacific Ocean and the San Diegulito River.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced the quarantine on Jan. 5, after the pest was detected within the city of Encinitas.

The eradication effort will be a collaborative effort of The United States Department of Agriculture, the San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner and the CDFA.

In an effort to eradicate the pest, sterile male Mexican fruit flies will be released into the area. The sterile males will mate with the fertile females, but this will not produce offspring.

Once the flies reach the end of their natural life, there will be no offspring to replace them, hopefully ending the infestation.

The quarantine will affect any seller of plants or fruit, including wholesalers and retailers. All nursery plants within the quarantined area must be treated or processed before being sold.

If any residents believe they have plants that have been infested, they are encouraged to call the pest hotline 1-800-491-1899.

The detailed plan can be found at

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December 7, 2019, 3:48 am PDT

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