Two adult melon flies were discovered over the weekend in fruit fly detection traps in El Segundo, the first time that officials have trapped more than one melon fly in Los Angeles County.
The melon fly, which is considered a food-destroying pest equal to the Medfly and Oriental fruit fly, was discovered in traps located on residential properties in the South Bay city. The melon fly is slightly larger than a house fly and is known to attack a number of fruits and vegetables.
"We don't find that fly very often, and the finding of two of them makes this significant," said William Edwards, chief deputy with the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner's office. Single melon flies have been trapped on four occasions since 1956, the most recent in September, 1986, he said.
State officials say no eradication plan will begin until a third melon fly is discovered.