Agriculture Press Release

April 30, 1998

Treatment to Begin in Medfly Operation

TALLAHASSEE In response to the multiple finds of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) in the Umatilla, Florida area, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the United States Department of Agriculture plan to implement both aerial and ground applications of bait treatments as part of the fruit fly eradication protocol. The bait treatments are composed of a protein bait with a small amount of Malathion (9.6 ounces bait to 2.4 ounces Malathion applied per acre).

The treatment area will be mapped on Friday and will be published in local newspapers and will also be made available to other media sources. Ground treatments will begin today with control crews treating on and around properties where Medfly trap catches have occurred. Homeowners/property owners will be contacted prior to treatment.

Pending approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and, weather permitting, aerial treatment of the Umatilla area is planned for Sunday. It is anticipated that at least four aerial treatments over a four week period of time will be required. A public meeting is being scheduled for Saturday, at the Umatilla High School Auditorium beginning at 2:00 PM, to provide more specific information about the Medfly eradication program and allow for interested parties to ask questions.

In addition to the control component of the program, State and Federal Medfly specialists are continuing to place traps in the area and are regulating host fruit movement. It is extremely important that everyone cooperate with the eradication program by not moving any Medfly host fruit out of the Umatilla area. Anyone discarding homegrown fruit should double bag the fruit and seal it before placing it in the trash.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is establishing a Medfly information help line that should be operational by early next week.


For More Information:

Maeve McConnell
(352) 742-6126

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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