Medfly Infestation Hits El Cajon

First Medfly infestation in San Diego County in ten years

A Mediterranean fruit fly, also known as Medflies, infestation was discovered in El Cajon Thursday.

These Medflies can destroy more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables causing severe damage to the agriculture industry, and cost billions in damages.

So far, three Medflies have been detected. California Department of Food and Agriculture crews will begin the eradication process Friday. CDFA crews will release more than two million sterile Medflies. They will also conduct ground treatments using Naturalyte.

Naturalyte is an organic compound that's a naturally occurring extract from bacteria and was successfully used in the 2002 Mexican fruit fly eradication program in Valley Center.

Sterile male Medflies mate with fertile female flies, but produce no offspring. The Medfly population slowly dies, resulting in eradication of the flies.

"This approach is a great example of research and science working to benefit the public and the environment," said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. "By utilizing sterile Medflies, we rely on biological control. It's a great example of progress offered by integrated pest management principles."

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