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Medfly Found Eight Miles From Infested Area in L.A.

September 10, 1987

A female Mediterranean fruit fly has been found in Southwest Los Angeles, about eight miles west of the area where aerial spraying and other attempts to eradicate the current Medfly infestation have been conducted, Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner Paul Engler said Wednesday.

But Engler said it was not yet determined whether the single fly indicated a spread of the infestation or whether it simply was one carried from the eradication zone in an automobile.

He said the Science Advisory Panel, made up of four experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Food and Agriculture and the University of California, Davis, will offer recommendations today on what action to take.

In the meantime, Engler said, "we're putting out 250 more traps."

"Anytime we find that flies have moved out of an area where we're working," the commissioner said, "it is a cause for additional concern."

He noted that a few of the sterile Medflies that have been released by the millions in the infested areas have turned up as far away as Studio City, apparently transported by vehicles. But the female fly found in a backyard monitoring trap near La Brea Avenue was not one of them.

In addition to releasing millions of sterile Medflies in the hope that the pests would breed themselves out of existence, state and county agriculture officials have sprayed a 22-square-mile Maywood-Bell-Huntington Park area as well as a 13 1/2-square-mile East Los Angeles area with a sweet-sticky bait laced with the pesticide malathion.

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