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Sacramento, Yolo counties end Oriental fruit fly quarantine

Backyard fruit no longer is under quarantine from the Oriental fruit fly
in a 123-square-mile area of Sacramento and Yolo counties.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Pest finally eradicated after August find in south Sacramento

The quarantine is over! The dreaded Oriental fruit fly has been eradicated in Sacramento County.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Food and Agriculture announced the eradication of this pest, found last August in the Lemon Hill neighborhood of south Sacramento. A 123-square-mile area in Sacramento and Yolo counties has been in quarantine ever since.

After nine months of trapping and monitoring, officials determined the threat was over. In total, 15 males and one female were found.

The quarantine led to tenting at farmers markets and a ban of transportation of fruit outside the effected area.

"CDFA, the USDA, the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner and the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner acknowledge and thank local area residents and businesses for their cooperation in preventing the movement of backyard fruit and allowing property access to perform critical eradication activities," the release said.
(Courtesy CDFA)

Native to southern Asia, the Oriental fruit fly attacks more than 230 crops, making it one of the worse agricultural pests in the state. The female flies tunnel into fruit and vegetables to lay eggs. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the food around them, making it unfit for human consumption.

While this threat is over, ag officials urged residents to stay vigilant.

"The vast majority (of Oriental fruit flies) are found in urban and suburban communities," the release noted. "The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by 'hitchhiking' in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers when they return from infested regions of the world."

For more on the Oriental fruit fly:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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