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April 5, 2011

Background: In February, two male Medflies were found in Pompano Beach during routine fruit fly trapping. It only takes two Medflies to trigger an eradication program, which FDACS began after the specimens had been confirmed to be wild Medflies. FDACS and USDA employees have been working in the Pompano Beach are and throughout the state to implement the eradication program since the February finds. Eradication efforts include adding more fruit fly traps in the immediate area and establishing a quarantine area to certify fruits or other host materials moving in and out of the quarantine zone. FDACS is also using the Sterile Insect Technique, which involves using biological control methods to release sterile male Medflies to interrupt the reproduction cycle. Eradication cannot be considered successful until three Medfly life cycles have passed with no additional fly finds. On March 14, DPI reported on this blog that two life cycles had passed, with one more to go until eradication could be considered complete.

On March 24, FDACS reported a third Mediterranean fruit fly found in Pompano Beach. It was an egg-bearing female collected during ongoing Medfly eradication activities in the area. A non-dyed male was found the same day, and another Medfly female was found two days later on March 26. Four additional male Medflies were also found. Eradication program activities will increase with these finds, and FDACS is working to set additional traps and expand the regulated quarantine boundary. The core area immediately around new finds will be treated and fruit will be stripped to remove sources for other wild Medflies that may be present. The public will be notified 24 hours in advance of any treatment or fruit stripping activities.

If you live in the quarantined area, you can help prevent the spread of Medfly by following these guidelines:

-Do not move any fruits and vegetables off of your property.
-Pick up any fallen fruits and vegetables from the yard.
-Double-bag fruits and vegetables in plastic. Securely tie bags and leave them out for household garbage pickup, not yard waste.
-Allow state or federal representatives access to your property for survey, trapping or treatment activities.

For more information about the Medfly program, visit http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/medfly, or call DPI’s toll-free helpline at 352-397-1517.

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