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Fruit removals begin in quarantine zones

Removal will occur at more than 2,000 residences.

Farm Press Staff

January 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Oriental fruit fly
Oriental fruit fly.USDA ARS

California agriculture officials are about to begin large-scale fruit removals in the Redlands area of San Bernardino County to combat an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly.

Trees will be left in place as host citrus and other fruit is removed at more than 2,000 residences in an operation set to begin in late January, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

Removals will take place north and south of I-10, with a northern boundary of E. Highland Ave, a western boundary at the intersection of Garden and Elizabeth streets, an eastern boundary of Alta Vista Dr., and a southern boundary of Silver Leaf Ct. A map of the area may be viewed here.

This approach will allow CDFA and its partners at the USDA and local agricultural commissioners’ office to break the lifecycle of the invasive fly, which lays eggs in fruit that develop into larvae (maggots), posing a threat to both residential and commercial citrus as well as a total of more than 230 crops, including nuts, vegetables and berries.

If left unchecked, the Oriental fruit fly could become permanently established and cause billions of dollars worth of losses annually, which would significantly impact California’s food supply.

Removal is mandatory

Residents in the Redlands-area are strongly urged to cooperate with the agricultural officials working on the project, as fruit removal is mandatory.  Removal is expected to continue until late February. Residents in areas of concern will receive a notice 48 hours prior to fruit removal, with work crews arriving after the stated time interval has passed. 

Work crews may consist of a combination of the following: CDFA and USDA employees, California Conservation Corps crews, and private contractors specializing in fruit removal.

Residents in the removal area are asked not to remove fruit from trees themselves and they may not move produce from their property. If fruit falls from trees and must be disposed-of, residents are urged to double-bag it and place it in a trash bin rather than green waste bins or other organic refuse designations. This approach significantly reduces the risk of spread of Oriental fruit flies, larvae or maggots.

CDFA is planning to host a public meeting in Redlands on January 24 to share details of the fruit removal project. The meeting, which is intended for residents in the removal area, will occur from 6 pm to 8 pm at the San Bernardino County Museum at 2024 Orange Tree Ln., Redlands, CA 92374. Residents in the removal area will receive postcards in the mail inviting them to the meeting.

More information about the Oriental fruit fly is available at CAFruitFly.com.

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture

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