Agriculture Press Release

July 13, 1999

Three Oriental Fruit Flies Found in Tampa

TAMPA Three male Oriental fruit flies were found in the Palm River area of east Tampa last weekend, about eight miles northeast of the infestation in south Tampa, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford announced today.

"We are asking the public not to move residential host fruit and vegetables grown within the area," Crawford said. "There is a strong likelihood that this outbreak was caused by someone moving infested fruit, and efforts to eradicate this pest are severely compromised if such fruit is moved from one location to another."

All three male flies were found in traps at residences a few blocks apart near 7th Avenue and South 56th Street, just south of Palm River and about a mile east of the bay. The clustering of finds recalls the other Oriental fruit fly outbreak currently being treated in the interbay peninsula area of south Tampa, which suggests the outbreak was caught early and can be eradicated relatively quickly and easily. More than 850 fruit fly traps are deployed around the fly finds.

Crawford said the first of four scheduled bait station treatments would begin on Thursday, July 15, in a 13-square-mile area surrounding the finds. Boundaries are as follows:

# North: East Columbus

# East: 86th Street

# South: 32nd Avenue South

# West: Highway 569 north of the bay

Agriculture workers using hand-held applicators carried on specially adapted trucks will place bait stations of methyl eugenol mixed with a small amount of insecticide high on utility poles or tree trunks. It is expected that the majority of the bait stations will be on city rights-of-way.

The bait stations in this new area will be reapplied every two weeks for approximately

60 days or two life cycles of the fly. In the south Tampa treatment area, the next treatment has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 14, with the sixth and final treatment scheduled for Wednesday, July 28.

Fruit stripping will begin tomorrow on all infested and adjacent properties. A quarantine area around these new finds is being established and a map will be distributed. All residents in the east Tampa area are asked to follow the same quarantine restrictions in effect in south Tampa: do not move any fruits or vegetables off your property; pick up any fallen fruit, double-bag it in plastic, tie it securely and put it out with household garbage.

Businesses that handle any host material in the regulated area (fruit stands, flea markets, lawn services, etc.) are required to sign compliance agreements with the Oriental Fruit Fly Project and should call (813) 740-3691 for details.

Residents having questions about the program should contact the Oriental Fruit Fly Helpline at 1-888-397-1517.


For more information:

Ned Davis
(813) 627-0863

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