The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) detected Sapote fruit flies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas. On January 6, 2003, an adult of the Sapote fruit fly was detected in a McPhail trap located south of McAllen in Hidalgo County in a grapefruit orchard. Four additional flies were collected at the following locations: January 8, backyard grapefruit tree southeast of McAllen; January 9, grapefruit orchard near Donna, Hidalgo County; January 13, grapefruit orchard near Donna; and February 7, backyard sour orange tree south of McAllen. The quarantine trigger was met twice because two flies each at Donna and McAllen were less than 3 miles apart.
On February 24, 2003, TDA adopted new regulatory sections concerning the Sapote fruit fly quarantine. The new sections are adopted on an emergency basis to prevent the spread of the Sapote fruit fly and facilitate its eradication. The new sections require application of treatments to achieve eradication and prescribe specific restrictions on the handling and movement of quarantined articles.
The quarantine area of approximately 225 square miles and 5000 acres of commercial citrus encompass the McAllen, Pharr, Mission, and Weslaco areas of the LRGV.
Treatment options within the quarantine area consist of Malathion or Spinosad bait spray at 10-12 day intervals 30 days prior to harvest, methyl bromide fumigation post harvest, or processing into juice.
The infestation represents a threat to the agriculture and environment of Texas and other U.S. mainland States. APHIS is cooperating with TDA in delimiting survey, treatment applications, regulation, and development of a program specific Sapote Fruit Fly Cooperative Program Environmental Assessment.
For more information on the sapote fruit fly see the following:
PAS news story 05/17/01