An 80-square-mile area centered in Long Beach has been placed under a fruit-and-vegetable quarantine by state officials following the discovery of eight guava fruit flies in the area, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Thursday.
Residents living in the quarantine area are being urged not to move any fruits or vegetables from their property. Fruits and vegetables can be eaten, frozen, cooked or ground in a garbage disposal only on the property where they were picked, according to the state.
The quarantine area stretches from Southern Avenue to East Stearns Street, between Central Avenue and Norwalk Boulevard. A map is available online at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/gff/regulation.html.
The guava fruit fly is considered a serious agricultural threat that can damage a wide variety of tree fruit, according to the state. Agricultural officials are carrying out a “male attractant” eradication technique, in which small patches of fruit fly attractant mixed with pesticide are placed on trees and other surfaces.
Agricultural officials said the female flies lay eggs inside fruit, and the eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the fruit. The flies have caused extensive damage to crops in countries such as Pakistan, India and Thailand.
Flies are generally carried into the state by people who illegally bring back fruits and vegetables when returning from infested regions.
— City News Service
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