The Oriental fruit fly is an invasive pest that was found near San Francisco during the summer of 2015.
The damage done by this pest can be extensive, so any time it makes an appearance, the state and federal government immediately declare war, putting a series of countermeasures in place to eradicate this pest. Most estimates make the Oriental fruit fly as destructive as the Mediterranean fruit fly.
Oriental fruit fly identification
The Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) is slightly larger than your average housefly. It tends to be bright yellow with a dark “T” on its abdomen, though other colorations have been seen. The wings are clear, with a dark outer edge. Maggots are slightly less than one-half inch long and yellowish-white.
Oriental fruit fly damage
Females use a pointed ovipositor to lay eggs under the skin of nearly 500 different host fruits. These crops include apricot, avocado, banana, citrus, fig, guava, loquat, mango, peach, pear, persimmon, pineapple, plum and tomato. When eggs hatch, the larva, or maggots, begin feeding on the fruit, making it inedible.
The Oriental fruit fly is a common pest in many parts of the world and it enters the U.S. through produce smuggled into the country.
If you suspect that you have seen an Oriental fruit fly in your garden, please contact the USDA hotline at (202) 720-2791. Visit the Dept. of Agriculture’s quarantine map to see what quarantines, if any, may include your garden!
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