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Fruit Fly Reports Spark Eradication Treatment

September 17, 1998

State officials launched a program Wednesday to eradicate fruit flies in Alhambra, Monterey Park and Rosemead after discovering two of the pests.

Officials will treat a nine-mile-square area, bordered by Alhambra Road and Del Mar, Graves and Fremont avenues, said Alfreda Sebasto of the California Department of Agriculture.

An agricultural quarantine has not been imposed. But officials said residents of the area should not remove backyard fruit.

Sebasto said the area will be treated by so-called male annihilation. Workers will place an insecticide bait patch that attracts and kills male fruit flies on about 600 utility poles and tree trunks.

Without the males, Sebasto said, the flies will be unable to reproduce.

The Oriental fruit fly, a native of southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, damages fruits and vegetables. Growers have suffered significant agricultural losses in Hawaii, India, Burma and Sri Lanka.

In California, the flies attack stone fruits, citrus and avocados, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers.

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