Fruit fly find spurs eradication effort

The crop-destroying Oriental fruit fly has been found in Pasadena and Lakewood, prompting an eradication program in those and some surrounding areas, county agricultural officials said Tuesday.

In Lakewood, where eight of the pests were discovered, officials also are establishing a quarantine, restricting the transport of fruits and vegetables through or out of the community.

To eradicate the pests, state agricultural workers are squirting small spots of bait onto utility poles and parkway tree trunks in the affected areas to attract and kill male fruit flies. Approximately 600 applications are made per square mile, and the process will be repeated every two weeks over the next few months. No aerial treatments are planned.

Residents with concerns about the process may call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Pest Hotline, (800) 491-1899.


Kurt Floren, county agricultural commissioner, said the Oriental fruit fly is one of the world’s most destructive pests, and if allowed to establish itself here, it would quickly threaten the state’s $32-billion agricultural industry. He urged residents and visitors to refrain from bringing prohibited vegetables, fruits or other plants into California because they could be harboring dangerous pests or diseases.