A portion of Los Angeles County has been placed under quarantine for the Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) following the detection of 14 flies in the North Hills area of the San Fernando Valley. The quarantine zone measures 89 square miles, bordered on the north by the Angeles National Forest; on the south by the Ventura Freeway; on the west by Porter Ranch; and on the east by Hansen Dam Park.
California crops at risk include citrus, pome, stone fruits, dates, avocados, and many vegetables, particularly tomatoes and peppers. Residents who are living within the quarantine area are being urged not to move homegrown fruits and vegetables from their property. However, they may be consumed or processed (i.e., juiced, frozen, cooked or ground in the garbage disposal) on the property where they were picked or disposed of by double bagging and placing in the regular trash, not green waste. Growers, nurseries or other industry operations who may be located in or near the quarantine zone are encouraged follow regulatory practices set in place by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
While fruit flies and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the vast majority are found in urban and suburban communities. The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back inadvertently by travelers as they return from infested regions of the world or from packages of home grown produce from other countries sent to California.
For more information:
CDFA Pest Hotline