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How to get rid of the Oriental fruit fly

Here's the plan to eradicate this pest from Sacramento

It could be worse. Compared to other bad pests, the Oriental fruit fly (OFF) takes less time to eradicate, due to its short life cycle. Treatment requires less toxic chemicals. Set-up and monitoring of pheromone traps can be less intrusive.

“Oriental fruit fly is easier, in my opinion, to eradicate,” said Juli Jensen, Sacramento County’s agricultural commissioner. “Treatment uses very soft chemicals compared to other pests such as the Japanese beetle.”

Much of Sacramento will be quarantined for this invasive and potentially devastating insect. After the discovery of 14 OFFs in county traps, the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture is launching an eradication program, expected to last at least eight months. During that period, host plants and their fruit may not be moved out of the quarantine area, which covers about 128 square miles in Sacramento and Yolo counties.

The official list of host plants ranges from apples to walnuts. Tomatoes, grapes and pears – three major local crops – are on the list, too. OFF can attack an estimated 230 different fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. (See the complete list at the end of this post.)

Spraying and traps will be the methods used to eradicate
Oriental fruit flies in Sacramento.
Residents are asked to not to transport out of the
quarantined area any produce grown there.
Just to be safe, all produce grown in the quarantine area should be consumed on site, according to the CDFA. It should not be moved, shared or sold. Don’t put it in green waste containers, either.

If fruit falls off trees or needs disposal, it should be double bagged in plastic and the county agricultural office called for pick-up at 916-875-6603.

Ground zero for this infestation is in a south Sacramento neighborhood near Stockton Boulevard and Elder Creek Road, east of Highway 99. In that neighborhood, trees will be treated with a foliar spray containing spinosad, an organically derived insecticide considered environmentally safe. Residents affected by spraying will be notified at least 48 hours in advance.

In addition, crews will set out about 600 bait traps containing male attractants to catch and kill the fruit flies before they breed.

“These traps will be way up high on telephone poles,” Jensen said, “so crews don’t even have to go into people’s yards. It’s a much, much less intrusive type of treatment.”

Traps also will be set up in park and street trees.

A meeting for commercial growers will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday night (Aug. 30) at Walnut Grove Library. Local residents can learn more about the Oriental Fruit Fly and the eradication program here:

What plants are hosts for Oriental fruit fly? Here’s the official list from the CDFA:

Akia ( Wikstroemia phyllraefolia )

Alexander laurel, laurel ( Calophyllum inophyllum )

Apple, common ( Malus sylvestris )

Apricot ( Prunus armeniaca )

Avocado ( Persea americana )

Banana ( Musa paradisiaca var. sapientum = Musa X paradisiaca )

Banana, dwarf ( Musa nana )

Barbados cherry ( Malpighia glabra )

Brazil cherry ( Eugenia dombeyi )

Breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis )

Cactus ( Cereus coerulescens )

Caimitillo ( Chrysophyllum oliviforme )

Cashew ( Anacardium occidentale )

Cherimoya ( Anonna cherimola )

Cherry, Catalina, Ornamental ( Prunus ilicifolia )

Cherry, Portugese ( Prunus lusitanica )

Cherry, Sweet ( Prunus avium )

Chili pepper ( Capsicum frutescens var. longum )

Coffee, Arabian ( Coffea arabica )

Country gooseberry ( Averrhoa carambola )

Cucumber ( Cucumis sativas )

Custard apple ( Annona squamosa )

Custard apple, Annona ( Annona reticulata )

Date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera )

Dragon tree ( Dracena draco )

Eggfruit tree ( Pouteria campechiana)=(Lucuma nervosa )

Elengi tree ( Mimusops elengi )

Fig, common ( Ficus carica )

Gourka ( Carcinia celebica )

Granadilla, Purple Passionflower ( Passiflora edu )

Granadilla, sweet ( Passiflora ligularis )

Granadilla, yellow ( Passiflora lauriflora )

Grape ( Vitis spp. )

Grapefruit ( Citrus paradisi )

Guava ( Psidium guajava )

Guava, pineapple ( Feijoa sellowiana )

Guava, red strawberry ( Psidium littorale )

Guava, yellow strawberry ( Psidium cattleianum lucidum )

Imbu ( Spondias tuberosa )

Jackfruit ( Artocarpus heterophyllus )

Jerusaleum cherry ( Solanum pseudocapsicum )

Jharber ( Ziziphus nummularia, = Ziziphus rotundifolia )

Jujube, Common ( Ziziphus zizyphus, = Ziziphus jujube )

Jujube, Indian ( Ziziphus mauritiana )

Jujube, Jackal ( Ziziphus oenoplia )

Kitembilla ( Dovyalis hebecarpa )

Kumquat ( Fortunella japonica )

Lemon ( Citrus limon )

Lime, Persian ( Citrus latifolia )

Lime, sour ( Citrus aurantiifolia )

Longan ( Euphorbia longan )

Loquat ( Eriobotrya japonica )

Lychee ( Lychee chinensis )

Malay apple ( Eugenia malaccensis )

Mammee apple ( Mammea americana )

Mandarin, tangerine ( Citrus reticulata )

Mango ( Mangifera indica )

Mangosteen ( Garcinia mangostana )

Mock orange ( Murraya exotica )

Mulberry, black ( Morus nigra )

Myrtle, downy rose ( Rhodomyrtus tomentosa )

Natal plum ( Carissa grandiflora )

Nectarine ( Prunus persica var. nectarina )

Orange, calamondin ( Citrus japonica & Citrus mitis )

Orange, Chinese ( Citrus japonica hazara )

Orange, king ( Citrus nobilis )

Orange, sour ( Citrus aurantium )

Orange, sweet ( Citrus sinensis )

Orange, unshu ( Citrus unshu )

Otaheite apple ( Spondias dulcis )

Palm, date ( Phoenix spp .)

Palm, syrup ( Jubaea spectabilis )

Papaya, common ( Carica papaya )

Passionflower, softleaf (Passiflora mollissima)

Passionfruit (yellow lilikoi) ( Passiflora edulis flavicarpa )

Peach ( Prunus persica )

Pear ( Pyrus communis )

Pepino ( Solanum muricatum )

Pepper, bell or chilli ( Capsicum annuum )

Pepper, bush, red Oriental ( Capsicum frutescens var. abbbreviatum )

Pepper, sweet ( Capsicum frutescens var. grossum )

Persimmon ( Diospyros spp. )

Persimmon, Japanese ( Diospyros khaki )

Plum, American ( Prunus americana )

Plum, garden, common European prune ( Prunus domestica )

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Prickly Pear ( Opuntia ficus-indica )

Prickly pear, mission ( Opuntia megacantha )

Pummelo ( Citrus grandis )

Quince ( Cydonia oblonga )

Rose apple ( Eugenia jambos=Syzygium jambos )

Sandalwood ( Santalum paniculatum )

Sandalwood, white ( Santalum album )

Santol ( Sandoricum koetjape )

Sapodilla ( Manilkara zapota )

Sapodilla, chiku ( Achras zapota )

Sapote, white ( Casimiroa edulis )

Seagrape ( Coccoloba uvifera )

Soursop ( Annona muricata )

Star apple ( Chrysophyllum cainito )

Surinam cherry ( Eugenia uniflora )

Tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum )

Tropical almond ( Terminalia catappa, Terminalia chebula )

Velvet apple ( Diospyros discolor )

Walnut, California black ( Juglans hindsii )

Walnut, English ( Juglans regia )

Wampi ( Citrus lansium )

West Indian cherry ( Malpighia punicifolia )

Ylang-ylang ( Cananga odorata )


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For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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