Medfly quarantine established

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has established a 72-square mile quarantine zone in San Bernardino County, in the Rancho Cucamonga area, following the detection of a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation.

To date, four wild Medflies and larvae have been detected in the area. This is the first Medfly infestation in San Bernardino County since 1993.

In addition to Rancho Cucamonga, the quarantine area includes portions of Ontario, Upland and Montclair. Ontario International Airport is within the quarantine boundary.

The Medfly can infest over 260 types of fruits and vegetables, causing severe impacts on California agricultural exports and backyard gardens. A permanent infestation would result in estimated annual losses of $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion.

Agricultural shipments from the quarantine zone will be limited by specific regulations designed to minimize movement of potentially infested commodities. In addition, people moving through the quarantine zone are urged not to remove fruits and vegetables from the area.

An eradication program for the Medfly is already under way, consisting of increased releases of sterile male flies in the area and ground treatments within a 200-meter radius of the finds, which is approximately one-eighth of a mile.

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