The California Department of Food and Agriculture has quarantined a 69-square-mile area in metro Los Angeles due to the discovery of invasive Mediterranean fruit flies. To combat the threat, officials will release approximately 250,000 sterile male fruit flies per square mile weekly for at least six months.

The sterile males will mate with fertile females, leading to a reduction in offspring and eventually the fly population. This method, part of the Preventative Release Program, has been effective since 1996.

Residents within the quarantine zone, which includes parts of downtown L.A. and surrounding neighborhoods, are advised not to transport fruits or vegetables and to dispose of them in double-bagged plastic. The Mediterranean fruit fly poses a significant risk to California’s agriculture, potentially causing hundreds of millions of dollars in crop damage.

Primary Source: KTLA


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