A quarantine is in place for a portion of Los Angeles due to an infestation of fruit flies.
The quarantine-in-place order comes after over 20 "Tau" fruit flies were detected in the area of Stevenson Ranch, near the City of Santa Clarita. The quarantine area covers 79 square miles.
A link to the quarantine map, from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, can be found here.
Tau fruit flies are an invasive species, native to Asia, that are considered serious pests to agriculture and natural resources. Hosts include fruits and vegetables, and a select range of native plants in California.
While people may think a "quarantine" applies to residents, this one only applies to produce. People in the affected area are urged not to move any fruits or vegetables from their property.
Under the order, fruits and vegetables "can consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal) at the property where they were picked. Otherwise, they should be disposed-of by double-bagging in plastic and placing the bags in a bin specifically for garbage," the CDFA said in a press release.
Agencies will work together on a multi-tiered approach to eliminate the species, which is believed to have arrived in California through travelers bringing uninspected produce into the state.
"On properties within 200 meters of detections, staff will cut host fruit and vegetables to inspect for any fruit fly larvae that may be present," the CDFA said. "Additionally, properties within 200 meters of detections will be treated with a naturally derived organic-approved material known as Spinosad, which will help remove any live adult fruit flies and educe the density of the population."
Fly traps, pheromone lures and small amounts of pesticide will also be used to treat affected areas.
This marks the first-ever quarantine for Tau fruit flies in the Western Hemisphere.
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