A Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) population has been detected in the Raymondville area of Willacy County, Texas. The USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) finds it necessary to quarantine an area in Willacy County, Texas, in order to prevent the spread of Mexfly. These actions are necessary to prevent the spread of Mexfly to noninfested areas of the United States.
From February 28 through March 25, 2008, a regulatory trigger for Mexfly quarantine was met after four unmated and one mated female Mexflies were detected. The quarantine area encompasses approximately 113-square-miles of Willacy County, TX. The only commercial production site in the quarantine area susceptible to Mexfly is a single 51-acre grapefruit grove where Mexfly was detected. All of the fruit from that grove has subsequently been harvested, safeguarded, and processed since Mexfly was detected on the property.
Fruit fly traps have been deployed at protocol levels to conduct a delimitation survey surrounding the detection sites. Spinosad foliar bait spray treatments are being applied to all host trees within 500 meters of the detection sites at 7 to 10 day intervals. The weekly release of sterile male Mexflies will be initiated surrounding the detection sites and continued through two projected Mexfly life cycles in the Raymondville area of Texas.
The Federal Domestic Quarantine Order delineating the new expanded Mexfly quarantine area in Willacy County is effective immediately. APHIS anticipates following this action with the publication of an Interim Rule in the Federal Register, with public comment, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
Under IPPC Standards, Anastrepha ludens is considered to be a pest that is transient, actionable, and under eradication in the United States.