The California Department of Food and Agriculture has confirmed the capture of seven white striped fruit flies in Los Angeles County, the first time the pest has been trapped in the Western Hemisphere.
Beginning Saturday, crews hung several thousand traps in trees in a 15-square-mile region of LaVerne that contain male pheromone lures and a small amount of pesticide, according to a news release. For a map of the treatment area, click here.
The pheromone lures the male in, and the pesticide kills him.
Within 200 feet of each trap catch, crews will apply an organically approved insecticide to all plant foliage.
The white striped fruit fly is native to tropical southeast Asia, where it damages fruit, including guava and mango.
The female lays eggs in the fruit, and the larvae feed on the flesh, rendering it unmarketable.
The white striped fruit fly find comes only a week after four Oriental fruit flies also were trapped in the LaVerne area of Los Angeles County.
Eradication will involve squirting small globs of fly attractant mixed with a small amount of pesticide on light poles, telephone poles and tree trunks 8 to 10 feet from the ground.
Male flies are attracted to the mixture and are killed after ingesting it.
For a map of the eradication area, click hereP