FAIRFIELD — Detection of a second peach fruit fly in Fairfield will trigger attempts to eradicate the pest.
The latest find came in a residential neighborhood in northern Fairfield at the base of Cement Hill, county Agricultural Commissioner Jim Allan said Tuesday.
A fly was found a few weeks ago in a trap about a mile away in a residential neighborhood north of Solano Town Center mall.
Peach fruit flies feed on more than 30 types of fruits and vegetables, including pears, peaches, pomegranates, melons, tomatoes and citrus. The female lays eggs on the fruit and the eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel into the fruit, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.
The agency called the peach fruit fly “a serious exotic pest.”
“The goal is not to get into a quarantine,” Allan said.
To that end, the state Department of Food and Agriculture will use what Allan called a “really low-impact” method to get rid of the flies. It will put up sticky traps with a mild pesticide and a substance that lures the male flies. Traps go on trees and poles, he said.
This is a proven technique that has worked in other places, Allan said. The effort does not involve aerial spraying, he said.
A map released by the state shows the eradication area. The boundaries enclose most of central Fairfield, from Ledgewood Creek in the west to the Union Pacific railroad tracks in the east and from Woolner Avenue in the south to Paradise Valley Drive in the north.
Peach fruit flies have also been found in Alameda and San Bernardino counties and at about the same time as the first Solano County find, Allan said. He would guess that the fly came here with smuggled fruit, he said.
If the fly got established in California, farmers and residents would apply more pesticides, production and post-harvest costs would increase and the state would lose economic activity and jobs because of trade restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture and some foreign trade partners, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.
The nearest commercial agricultural area to the Fairfield peach fruit fly finds is Suisun Valley. A major crop that is now about ready for harvest is grapes and grape vines are not listed by the state as a host plant for the fly.
The pesticide used in the fly eradication traps is called naled or Dibrom, according to the state Department of Agriculture proclamation for the Fairfield peach fruit fly eradication effort. Residents whose property gets treated are notified in writing 48 hours in advance.
Naled is used for mosquito control. The Environmental Protection Agency found that, when used according to the label, naled doesn’t pose “unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.”
People with questions on the project can contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture at 800-491-1899. Please go to www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/PDEP/treatment/treatment_maps.html#pff to see a copy of the map that shows the Fairfield treatment area.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.