Invasive fruit flies are raising concerns among agricultural officials in Southern California.
Over 100 square miles are under quarantine in San Bernardino and Riverside counties because of the Oriental fruit fly, which is endemic to Southeast Asia. In Los Angeles County, experts have set their sights on another pest — the Tau fruit fly.
The Tau is native to tropical and subtropical Asia. It destroys gourds, tomatoes, avocados, and many other crops. These insects can take a big bite out of the state’s ag economy. The Tau fruit fly caused $19 billion in losses in 2020.
According to ABC 7, officials from the California Department of Agriculture are currently canvassing neighborhoods in Santa Clarita for the Tau. Parts of the city were placed under quarantine after the Tau was discovered in Stevenson Ranch over the summer.
If you live in a susceptible area like Santa Clarita, there’s one way you can help prevent the Tau’s spread this Halloween season. Experts are asking residents to keep any pumpkins indoors.