End to Medfly Spraying Likely in Some Areas

Malathion spraying will probably end in Sylmar after one more dose tentatively scheduled for Friday, and other San Fernando Valley communities also could be phased out of the state's pesticide blitz by early May, an official overseeing the anti-Medfly program said Monday.

No evidence of the destructive Mediterranean fruit fly has been found in Sylmar for nearly six months, or about two life cycles of the fly, indicating that aerial spraying is no longer necessary in the 17-square-mile area, said Dr. Isi Siddiqui, assistant director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The lack of any recent evidence of the insect will be presented at a meeting of the agriculture department's Medfly Science Advisory Panel on Wednesday as grounds for canceling Sylmar spraying, Siddiqui said.

A new shipment of sterile flies, which will probably take over the battle from the controversial pesticide elsewhere in the Valley, is expected to arrive from Hawaii the first week in May, he said.

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