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Oriental fruit fly prompts pesticide treatment over 1.5-mile radius

An area of Saratoga will be treated with pesticide Tuesday after the recent detection of two oriental fruit flies, an invasive species, Santa Clara County officials said.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture detected the flies on Aug. 29 and last Tuesday. The oriental fruit flies can infest many California crops, including apples, pears, citrus and avocados, with the female laying eggs that hatch into maggots that leave the crops unfit for consumption.

On Tuesday, agricultural officials will apply a small patch of fruit fly attractant mixed with an organic pesticide on trees and utility poles about 8-10 feet off the ground over an area spanning a radius of 1.5 miles from the detection site, according to the county.

California Department of Food and Agriculture Pesticide treatment of a 1.5-mile radius Sarataga, Calif. area is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The treatment is a response to discovery of invasive oriental fruit flies.

The state along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture will also be conducting a survey consisting of multiple fruit fly traps going out 4.5 miles in each direction from the detection sites.

The oriental fruit fly, widespread throughout much of southern Asia and neighboring islands, often makes its way into California via fruits and vegetables illegally brought by travelers, according to the county.

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