The Oriental fruit fly, last detected in Florida in 2015, has been found there again, and state and federal agriculture departments are employing an aggressive eradication plan. ( File photo )

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has found three Oriental fruit flies in south Miami-Dade County.

One fly was found in a routine trapping program and the other two were found during expanded trapping activities according the Florida department. The department and U.S. Department of Agriculture monitor more than 56,000 fruit fly traps in Florida, according to a news release, as an early detection network against pests.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the Oriental fruit fly had been eradicated in the state three years ago. He said his agency and the USDA will launch an “aggressive eradication” program again.

Before the three most recent finds, the last time the fly had been detected in Florida was 2015, according to the release.

“This species is considered one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm,” according to the release.

Oriental fruit flies attack more than 400 different specialty crops, including:

  • Avocados
  • Mangoes
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Papayas
  • Peaches

To combat the fruit fly, a 1.5-square-mile area around each find is being treated. Male flies are attracted to bait with an insecticide that’s applied in the area for about two months past the date of the last detection. If no additional flies are detected after a month, the treatment is deemed successful.

 
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