Moving uninspected Texas fruit could be moving hidden fruit flies to new places. It will take cooperation of everyone to stop this destructive pest from spreading.
Joyce Currington | April 9, 2019
Why, is the question. It was over and under control, but the Mexican Fruit Fly has re-entered the picture, bringing back the quarantine for Webb and Zapata Counties. The quarantine restricts the movement of fruit that may be infected. Commercial citrus growers are taking steps to ensure their fruit can be moved pest-free, however, residential trees may continue to cause problems
What can residents do to help control, eliminate or keep the pest from spreading? This is especially crucial at this time of year when Winter Texans begin to return to areas out of the quarantine zones. USDA Gerardo Gonzalez, APHIS Supervisory Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer, talked to Commissioners Court about the quarantine and the steps local residents need to take.
* Don’t move or mail fruit from residential citrus trees in the quarantine area (Webb and Zapata Counties,, also McAllen area).
*Remove all citrus fruit as soon as it ripens.
*Don’t leave any ripe fruit hanging on trees or laying on the ground.
*Double bag any fruit not eaten or used and properly dispose of it in a trash bin.
*Don’t compost any fruit (or vegetables) from the quarantine area.
*Please allow USDA trappers access to your yard.
Gonzalez emphasized that this information is important for Winter Texans who are planning to travel outside the local area. Moving uninspected Texas fruit could be moving hidden fruit flies to new places. It will take cooperation of everyone to stop this destructive pest from spreading. Those who are leaving for the season and have trees on their property, should make arrangements for having their fruit trees maintained while they are gone. Vendors should have their produce covered with protective netting. The fruits most in danger are Grapefruit, Oranges, Sour Orange or other host fruit or vegetable.
For more information about the fruit fly or fruit fly traps on their property, contact the local office at (956) 726-2225.