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Guava fruit flies found in Florida
“Though disturbing, this find confirms that our early detection system for pests and diseases is among the best in the nation. Our staff, working closely with our federal partners, has begun intensive delimiting trapping in the area around the positive finds,” Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said today.
The department, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, launched an intensified trapping program in a 55-square-mile area surrounding the fruit fly finds. Staff will check traps on a daily basis for one week to determine if there is a reproducing population of this invasive pest. If staff does not discover additional flies, traps will be checked every week for three life cycles of the fly – approximately 60 days.
The department has detected the guava fruit fly several times in Florida since 1999, but the fly has not become established. The fly is considered a threat to much of Florida agriculture and attacks fruit and vegetable varieties, including guava, peach, mango, fig, date, tropical almond, sapodilla, roseapple, jujube, castor bean and sandalwood. This species of fruit fly is being detected with increasing frequency in new areas of the world. The fruit flies lay their eggs in host fruits and vegetables. In a few days, the eggs hatch and maggots render the fruits or vegetables inedible.
State and federal agencies will work with local governments to keep the public informed. More information can be found at the department’s website at FreshFromFlorida.com.
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