Mediterranean Fruit Fly Detected in Fairfield

Sep 8, 2017

September 5, 2017

Mediterranean Fruit Fly
SOLANO COUNTY – The Solano County Agricultural Commissioner, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), have found an adult Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Medfly) near the Tolinas area late last week, triggering an extensive survey in the area, including the placement of additional Medfly traps.

The fly was captured in an insect trap baited with lures designed to attract the Medfly. Scientists at the CDFA have verified that the fly has DNA that matches it to populations known to originate from Hawaii and is a mature female with well-developed eggs inside, however, the fly was unmated. As part of the coordinated response, Solano County, the CDFA and USDA are working to determine if this fly represents a breeding population, or, if this is an isolated incident.

In response to the location of a Medfly, an additional 1,095 insect traps have been placed as part of a delimitation survey. Medfly traps are placed in consecutive circles extending for several miles in each direction from the original Medfly detection site, in this instance, covering approximately 81 square-miles. All traps have been checked and no additional Medfly's have been detected at this time.

If a single Medfly is found within three projected life-cycles, a quarantine restricting the movement of host (where the fly is found) fruits and vegetables would be imposed by federal law.

Last October, a single Medfly was found in Vacaville, however, it was the only one, so a quarantine was not necessary. Several Medfly's were found in Dixon in 2007 and 2008, resulting in a quarantine eradication of the pest. Those same flies shared the same genetic biotype as the fly found in Tolinas.

“I would like to thank the residents of Fairfield and Suisun for their cooperation in allowing our employees to place insect traps in your fruit trees and gardens,” says Jim Allan, Solano County Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures. “We are also working to inform residents to be aware that uncertified produce from foreign countries, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, may carry the risk of starting an infestation.”   

The Medfly can infest more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables, causing severe impacts on California agricultural exports and backyard gardens. Residents who believe their fruits or vegetables are infested with fly larvae are encouraged to call the state's toll-free Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or the Solano County Agricultural Commissioner's office at (707) 784-1310.

News Contact:

Matthew Davis, Sr. Management Analyst and Public Communications Officer
(707) 784-6111 | (AND)

Jim Allan, Agricultural Commissioner, Sealer of Weights and Measures
(707) 784-3448 and

By Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area Urban IPM Advisor