The Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) quarantine has been in effect in the Redland area since late August. As of December 14th, 65 days have passed with no new flies found. If this continues unchanged, the quarantine will end February 20th, or sooner if the weather stays warmer than normal.
This fruit fly poses an incredible hazard to both the fruit and vegetable industry in the southern states. Unlike the Mediterranean Fruit Fly and others like it, this fly doesn’t just attack a handful of fruit. The list is 40 pages long, including just about any fruit you can think of, and fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cukes, squash, beans, eggplant…
On the positive side (for us), herbs, greens of all types, root vegetables, and basically any non-fruiting plant is NOT under quarantine. The eradication efforts are centered around the use of pheromone baits, one of which is approved for use in organic production.
If this fly establishes a foothold here, we’re doomed. So it’s really encouraging that we’ve gone through one complete life cycle without an emergence. We have to remain vigilant and continue to stay in compliance with quarantine regulations. If you’re in our area, don’t move host material (fruits & fruiting veggies) around, unless you have proof of compliance. And when you do, make sure they’re completely enclosed so a stray fly can’t find its way into the fruit to lay eggs. Look for a compliance label on the box. Ask for their compliance number.