Invasive Fruit Fly Quarantine Lifted in Santa Clara County

Statewide

Thanks to the cooperation and diligence of Santa Clara County residents and local agricultural officials, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Santa Clara County Agricultural Commissioner, has declared the end of the Oriental fruit fly quarantine in Santa Clara County following eradication of the invasive pest.

The declaration comes nearly nine months after officials first detected populations of the Oriental fruit fly in the area and established a quarantine encompassing parts of Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, Saratoga, Campbell and Los Altos.

“Thanks to the responsiveness and cooperation of Santa Clara’s residents, and our partners at the Santa Clara County Division of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture, we were able to quickly and safely eradicate this infestation of the Oriental fruit fly,” said Victoria Hornbaker, Director of CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division. “As with so many invasive species, when we can detect infestations early and respond promptly, we stand the best chance of protecting our backyard fruits and vegetables and ultimately safeguarding California’s agricultural heritage.”

During the quarantine, crops that are hosts for the invasive pest — which include more than 300 varieties, such as citrus and other fruits, nuts, vegetables and berries — were not allowed to be moved from the properties where they were grown. Commercial crops were required to meet stringent treatment or processing standards before being harvested or moved.

While the Santa Clara County quarantine area has been lifted, there are currently six other active fruit fly quarantines in California, which still threaten California’s natural environment, agriculture and economy.

As the temperatures rise and vacationers ramp up their travel plans, local agricultural officials are urging residents to refrain from bringing back potentially infested produce from their trips. While you’re at home, we urge residents to continue to stay vigilant for signs of invasive pests and cooperate with local officials. To help prevent any future introductions of invasive species, residents should follow these guidelines:

  • Cooperate with agricultural officials and allow them access to your garden to place traps, inspect plants, conduct necessary treatments or remove potentially infested produce.
  • Determine if your property is located within an active quarantine area by visiting CAFruitFly.com.
  • Buy fruit trees and vegetable plants from licensed California nurseries, as receiving agricultural goods from uncertified sources can spread invasive pests. Source your plants locally and responsibly. To search for a licensed nursery near you, visit CDFA’s Directory of Licensed Nurseries.
  • Inspect your garden for signs of invasive fruit flies or maggots and report any findings to CDFA at 1-800-491-1899 or your local county agricultural commissioner’s office
  • When entering the United States from another country, avoid bringing agricultural products — including fruits or vegetables. Help us protect our agricultural and natural resources and California’s unique biodiversity from invasive fruit flies — please Don’t Pack a Pest (www.dontpackapest.com) when traveling or mailing/receiving packages.

To learn more about invasive species and how to protect the county’s fruits and vegetables, visit CaFruitFly.com or ag.santaclaracounty.gov.


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