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Countywide : 3 Medflies Found; Trap Area to Expand

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Three more Mediterranean fruit flies have been found in Anaheim and Orange, one of them within a quarantined area, a California Department of Food and Agriculture spokeswoman said Thursday.

The discovery of the three flies indicates the infestation may have moved northward, officials said.

Officials plan to expand the area where workers are placing traps and spraying malathion, in an effort to determine the extent of the infestation and to control it. Once they know the extent of the new infestation, the quarantine boundaries could be enlarged, they said.

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“The Medflies were found in guava and orange trees,” said Myrlys Hollis, spokeswoman for the Department of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento. One Medfly was found in Orange, one of the designated quarantine areas where it is prohibited to move vegetables or fruits within or out of the specified borders.

The two Medflies found in Anaheim were located near Katella Avenue and 9th Street, outside a quarantine area.

Officials plan to intensify use of traps and fruit inspection to pinpoint the exact location of the new fly infestation. There are already thousands of traps strewn throughout the county.

Once the infestation is located, an area within a 200-meter radius of the find will be sprayed with malathion by people walking through the area, not by overhead spraying.

Before the spraying begins, the workers with Cooperative Medfly Project will notify residents by walking the area door to door.

Aside from spraying, more than 600 million sterile fruit flies are being released weekly in Orange County. Once the neutered Medflies are released from the air they descend on fruit trees and mate with their feral counterparts, foiling reproduction.

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The current quarantined area encompasses 161 square miles in Westminster, Santa Ana and Tustin. Officials said the quarantine boundaries would not be expanded until further investigation.

“We are trying to find out the extent of the infestation,” Hollis said. “If we find more than we expect we might place a quarantine.”

The boundaries of the current quarantine area are, approximately, Chapman Avenue to the north, Foothill Boulevard, Jamboree Road and Culver Drive to the east, and the San Diego Freeway to the south.

The area meets the Westminster quarantine area along Fairview Road to the west.

For more information regarding Medflies call the Medfly Project at (800) 491-1899.

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