2nd Fruit Pest Found in Area

Times Staff Writer

Two Oriental fruit flies have been found in Hacienda Heights in the second local outbreak this year of one of California’s most dangerous agricultural pests, officials said Saturday.

The two adult male flies were found in traps Friday as county agricultural officials continued their battle to eradicate another major agricultural pest--the Mediterranean fruit fly--in West Los Angeles.

The officials said a sex lure/insecticide will be sprayed on utility poles and fence posts in a 12-square-mile area around Hacienda Heights in an effort to prevent an infestation of Oriental fruit flies, which attack more than 230 fruits and vegetables, posing a serious threat to the state’s $15.5-billion-a-year agriculture industry.

Last summer, the same technique was used to eradicate Oriental fruit flies found in the Lincoln Heights and Culver City areas.


County Agricultural Commissioner E. Leon Spaugy said that if more Oriental fruit flies are found in the area during the next few days, a quarantine may have to be imposed.

Last Thursday, Spaugy’s men released 8 million sterile male Mediterranean fruit flies over a 53-square-mile area of West Los Angeles in their continuing battle to eradicate an infestation there.

It is hoped the sterile flies--dyed pink for easy identification--will mate with female Medflies in the area, thus breaking the reproductive chain.