APHIS Posts Updated Federal Domestic Soil Quarantines Map

APHIS updated the Federal Domestic Soil Quarantines Map to include the following changes:

  • Removed the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine in the Fairfield area of Solano County, California.

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APHIS Removes the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) Quarantine Area in Sun Valley, Los Angeles County, California

Effective June 23, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) removed the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine area in the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles County, California.

On August 30, 2017, APHIS and CDFA established a Medfly quarantine in a regulated area of Sun Valley, California. The quarantine restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from that area to prevent the spread of Medfly to non-infested areas of the United States. This action was necessary after three adult male Medflies were detected between August 17 and August 30, 2017. Additional detections of adults and larvae occurred in residential sites in the area. Since that time, APHIS cooperated with the CDFA and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner’s office to eradicate the transient Medfly population through various control actions per program protocols.

APHIS removed the quarantine area after three Medfly life-cycles elapsed with negative detections in this area. This removal of the quarantine is reflected on the following designated website, which contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/ff-quarantine

APHIS Establishes Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) Quarantine in the Half Moon Bay Area of San Mateo County, California

Effective November 22, 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) established a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine in the Half Moon Bay area of San Mateo County, California. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area.

On November 14, 2017, CDFA and San Mateo County program staff trapped the first adult male Medfly in the area of Half Moon Bay, California. CDFA confirmed an additional male Medfly on November 22, 2017, triggering the federal and state quarantine. Currently, the quarantine area encompasses approximately 56 square miles. APHIS is working with CDFA and the San Mateo County Agriculture Commissioner’s office to respond to these detections following program survey, treatment, and quarantine protocols. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of medfly to non-infested areas of the United States. Continue reading

APHIS Rescinds the Federal Order Prohibiting the Importation of Certain Citrus Fruit from the Berkane Region in Morocco due to Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is lifting the Federal Order (DA-2016-79) issued December 23, 2016, which prohibited the importation of tangerines, clementines, mandarins (Citrus reticulata), and sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis) produced in, moved through, or shipped from the Berkane Region in Morocco into the United States. Prior to the Federal Order prohibiting such imports, tangerine, clementine, mandarin, and sweet orange fruit could be imported to the United States subject to commodity import requirements and operational work plan (OWP) safeguards. APHIS took action to ban the citrus due to the detection of live Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae in Berkane citrus at a U.S. port of entry. Continue reading

Scientists discover the Mediterranean fruit fly’s genetic code

By Jan Suszkiw, Agricultural Research Service

An international team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other research organizations have sequenced the complete genome of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. This pest attacks more than 260 fruit, vegetable and nut crops worldwide, causing billions of dollars annually in direct damage, export sanctions, lost markets, and other costs.

Reported in the September issue of Genome Biology, this advance is like finding the medfly’s playbook of life. It gives researchers an edge in spotting weaknesses to exploit, particularly genes tied to the pest’s ability to reproduce, withstand pathogens, find host plants, and break down environmental toxins. The advance should also foster greater understanding of how the insect’s genetics make it such a successful invasive pest. Continue reading

APHIS Amends the Federal Order Restricting Imports of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) Host Commodities

Effective immediately, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the Federal Order restricting U.S. imports of certain fruits and vegetables from the Dominican Republic to add Distrito Nacional and Santo Domingo to the list of provinces allowed to export Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) host material to the United States. Continue reading

Quarantine area established for in Puerto Rico for Mediterranean fruit fly

As of May 13, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) established a new Mediterranean fruit fly regulated area in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, after Mediterranean fruit flies were caught in detection traps.

This is the first APHIS quarantine and eradication program for this exotic fruit fly in Puerto Rico. APHIS and the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture (PRDA) are working together to inform residents and enforce the new quarantine area.

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Mediterranean fruit fly found at JFK airport

The Mediterranean fruit fly, one of the world’s most destructive pests, was recently intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, NY.

The Mediterranean fruit fly – or medfly – infested U.S. mainland several times; the first was recorded in 1929 in Florida.

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Florida research finds that sterile flies can be good mates

Irradiated, sterile flies dropped over seaports and agricultural areas to mate with unsuspecting females save food crops and millions of dollars in prevented infestations and the ensuing eradication efforts.

But blasting these secret-suitor insects with radiation via electron beams, X-rays or gamma-rays, tends to make them weaker than typical males — and not so appealing to females as possible mates.

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