93-square mile medfly quarantine in San Diego County - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

93-square mile medfly quarantine in San Diego County

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GENERIC - Health Alert GENERIC - Health Alert

LA MESA (CNS) - A 93-square mile area of San Diego County was placed under a Mediterranean fruit fly quarantine after four of the destructive insects were discovered in La Mesa, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced Tuesday.

The agency said the Medfly quarantine will affect any growers, wholesalers and retailers of susceptible fruit, as well as home gardeners, who are urged to consume the produce they grow on site and not move it from their property.

The quarantine will protect against the spread of the infestation to nearby regions where it could affect the state's food supply, and backyard gardens and landscapes, according to the CDFA.

The affected region is bordered on the north by Prospect Avenue in Santee, on the south by Mount Miguel Road in Chula Vista, on the west by Fairmount Avenue in San Diego, and on the east by Vista Grande Road in Dehesa, just east of El Cajon. It encompasses all of La Mesa, El Cajon and Spring

Valley, the southern border of Santee, northeastern section of Chula Vista and eastern neighborhoods in San Diego.

The agency said it is releasing 250,000 sterile Medflies per mile per week in much of the quarantine area. Sterile male flies mate with fertile female flies in the environment but produce no offspring.

Properties within 200 meters of detections are being treated with an organic formulation of Spinosad, which the CDFA said originates from naturally-occurring bacteria in soil, in order to eliminate mated females and reduce the density of the population.

The CDFA will also remove fruit within 100 meters of detection properties in order to get ride of any that are infested with eggs and larvae.

The Medfly can infest more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables, impacting California agricultural exports and backyard gardens.

Residents who believe their fruits and vegetables are infested with fruit fly larvae are encouraged to call the state's toll-free Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.

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