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Spraying of Pesticide Halted : No Oriental Fruit Flies Found for 2 Months

December 05, 1985|ELIZABETH CAMPOS | Times Staff Writer

Because no Oriental fruit flies have been found in the Glendale quarantine area for two months, agricultural officials have halted the emergency spraying of trees and utility poles by ground crews.

The spraying of a chemical lure and pesticide began in late September after three fruit flies were found in central Glendale from Sept. 18 to Sept. 23. Officials feared a major infestation of the flies, which are known to badly damage fruit and vegetable crops.

The treatment involved squirting a small amount of a mixture of pesticide and methyl eugenol, a chemical lure for the male fruit fly, on more than 7,600 trees and utility poles inside a 12-square-mile area in central Glendale. The treatment was repeated every other week for a total of five applications.

"The treatments are very effective. We don't expect to find any more flies," said John C. Manning, chief deputy in the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner's office.

However, 390 detection traps will be left in place for at least three months over an 81-square-mile region covering Glendale, parts of Burbank and La Canada Flintridge as well as the Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater, Highland Park and Eagle Rock districts of Los Angeles.

The traps are checked once a week. If no more flies are found by April, the number of detection traps will be reduced by more than half, Manning said.

An emergency quarantine prohibiting transportation of fruit outside the 81-square-mile area was imposed in early October but was never enforced after it became clear that the fly infestation was small. The quarantine, however, is expected to remain in force until April in case the situation changes.

Meanwhile, 70 square miles in other parts of Los Angeles County continue to be treated for the Oriental fruit fly, including Long Beach and several smaller areas surrounding it, Manning said.

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