Fruit Fly Hanky-Panky Could Threaten Avocado Crop

The sterile fruit flies are being used to battle infestation which threatens agricluture.

By Susan Taylor
|  Wednesday, Sep 16, 2009  |  Updated 6:20 AM PDT
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Fruit Fly Hanky-Panky Could Threaten Avocado Crop

Gregor Schuster

Several local avocado growers are either involved or near the fruit fly quarantine area.

There's been a little fooling around among the Mediterranean fruit fly set.

Agriculture leaders in the county announced they found a "mated female fly" last Wednesday in a trap near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Rose Street, in Escondido

"The fact that she's mated means she's not alone," said Bob Atkins, commissioner of agriculture for San Diego County. "There's one other rascally guy out there, at least."

You know what that means - growers in and near Escondido are stuck in the middle of a quarantine. Parts of Mira Mesa and Imperial Beach are already under quarantine. 

The issue in Escondido is that it's not just backyard crops but a large avocado crop.

Eric Larson, executive director of the nonprofit San Diego County Farm Bureau, told the North County Times that as of Tuesday morning he had already gotten a few calls from nervous growers.

"This quarantine is going to affect a lot of farmers," he said. "This is going to capture quite a few avocado growers in east Escondido."
 

If not taken care of, medflies have the potential to cause $280 million in damage to local crops. Read more about the quarantine and its impact in Escondido in the full article in the North County Times.

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