Through the end of February, state agriculture officials will go door to door in the San Bernardino County city of Redlands, stripping fruit from homeowners’ trees. It’s part of a serious effort to combat the Oriental fruit fly and the threat it poses to California’s agricultural industry.
Officials have around 2,000 homes to visit, according to CDFA. Removal is mandatory, and no citrus will be spared. Residents will be given 48 hours notice before removal.
CDFA is also asking people not to remove any fruit themselves or take any fruit off their property. Fruit that falls to the ground should be double bagged and placed in the regular black trash bin.
This effort “will allow CDFA and its partners at the USDA and local agricultural commissioners’ office to break the lifecycle of the invasive fly, which lays eggs in fruit that develop into larvae (maggots), posing a threat to both residential and commercial citrus as well as a total of more than 230 crops, including nuts, vegetables and berries,” the agency said.
“If left unchecked, the Oriental fruit fly could become permanently established and cause billions of dollars worth of losses annually, which would significantly impact California’s food supply.”
The Oriental fruit fly is not the only pest that poses a threat to California crops. As California City News has reported, the Tau fruit fly is causing concern in parts of Los Angeles County, including the city of Santa Clarita.