10:00 a.m. Meeting today on Oriental Fruit Fly Program for Ornamental Crops
September 30, 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
10:00am to 12:00pm
University of Florida Extension in Miami-Dade County
18710 SW 288th Street, Homestead, FL 33030
At this time, everyone is probably quite aware of the Oriental fruit fly that has been found in some areas of the Redland. As of September 2, 2015, a quarantine went into effect in an 85 square mile area of the Redland which includes packing houses, tropical fruit groves, vegetable fields, fruit stands, plant nurseries, and homes. The quarantine went into effect 24 hours after a public announcement was placed in The Miami Herald, and was prompted by Florida Rule 5B-66, which states “State and federal agricultural officials are mandated to keep the Oriental fruit fly out of this country. Wherever Oriental fruit flies are found in the continental U.S., the pest must be eradicated.”
The Oriental fruit fly is an extremely serious pest because it can attack hundreds of plants of which 435 are currently on its host list. This host list contains many ornamental plants found both in production and in the landscape. It is considered one of the most dangerous fruit flies. Fruits and vegetables are essentially destroyed by fruit fly larvae feeding inside them. This fruit fly can completely devastate the multi-million dollar agricultural industry in south Florida and can trigger further regulations that have the potential to cripple the industry. Although the fruits and vegetables are of primary concern, this fruit fly can attack some ornamental plants. If the ornamental plant is on the list of 435 host plants, then it is regulated under the quarantine. The area of quarantine and list of 435 plants can be retrieved from http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Pests-Diseases/Exotic-Fruit-Flies/Oriental-Fruit-Fly-Information
A compliance agreement needs to be filled out and signed, in person, with FDACS regulatory staff for any fruit, vegetable growers, packers, or sellers/stands located within the quarantine area that wish to sell or move any of the 435 host plants, vegetables, or fruits during the quarantine. Parties outside of the quarantine area that want to move produce into the area to pack or sell, must also sign a compliance agreement. Some nurseries within the quarantine area need to sign a compliance agreement. You can still buy plants from these nurseries as long as the grower has signed the
agreement or is selling a product that is not regulated under the quarantine (soil, mulch, rocks, fish, wood products, or any plants that are not near or under a fruit fly host tree or have host fruit on the plant).
The goal of this quarantine is to prevent any further spread of this pest and to eradicate the Oriental fruit fly in our area. There are different protocols within the compliance agreement for different crops, growing situations, transportation, movement and selling. The two sections for nursery and landscape are below. The host plant list used in the quarantine and compliance agreement is referred to as the Fruit Fly Host Material (FFHM) which is defined as any plant material capable of sustaining any life stage of exotic fruit flies.
Compliance Agreement – Nursery/Stock Dealers
1. All plant material capable of producing Fruit Fly Host Material (FFHM) is to be stripped of and kept free of FFHM.
2. All containerized material being grown under or in close proximity of a host trees on the list will be drenched with an approved pesticide labeled for fruit fly larvae and pupae. All treatments
3. All potting media must be covered with a material to exclude fruit fly larva if stored under a host of the exotic fruit fly.
Compliance Agreement – Lawn/property maintenance
1. All FFHM originating from the fruit fly quarantine area must be disposed of in closed plastic bags, and separated from other materials such as grass clipping and leaf litter.
2. FFHM will not be taken home or given away; it must be hauled by a commercial trash collection agency and/or disposed of in an approved disposal site.
3. The Program must be informed of any changes in storage or disposal of FFHM.
4. Maintenance companies must supply the regulatory section with license plate number(s), make and model of all work vehicles. A copy of this compliance agreement must accompany each vehicle and present on request.
For specific information, please attend the informational meeting on September 30, 2015 mentioned above. This meeting is targeted specifically for ornamental growers, landscapers, and homeowners. Compliance protocols for fruit and vegetables will not be covered at this meeting