County officials today were mapping out plans for a quarantine in the North County following the discovery of a Mediterranean fruit fly in northern Escondido near agricultural fields.
"The latest trapped Medfly was closer to agriculture operations than those previously discovered in El Cajon, Mira Mesa and Imperial Beach," San Diego County Agriculture Commissioner Robert Atkins said yesterday.
"We are working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to eradicate the pest as quickly as possible."
County officials said once a quarantine area related to the latest Medfly trapping is mapped out, the area can be treated with a natural insecticide over the weekend.
People who live within a 200 meters of the area where the latest fly was trapped will be notified that their properties will be treated, according to county officials.
Homeowners in the area are urged not to remove backyard fruits and vegetables that may be infested.
Medflies attack more than 260 different types of fruits and vegetables. Female fruit flies lay eggs inside the fruit, which hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh, making it inedible.
If left untreated, Medflies could cost commercial growers in San Diego County as much as $280 million in lost crops, according to the county.