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Crews To Spray For Invasive Fruit Fly In Dade

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Crews in Miami-Dade County are set to spray for a fruit fly that is threatening crops in the area.

The Oriental Fruit Fly is the target of the aerial spraying which starts at sundown on Friday.

Crews will spray from southwest 136 Street to 224 Street North to south and from Southwest 157 Avenue to 217 Avenue East to West.  The insecticide that will be sprayed is approved and used by organic growers.

Considered one of the world's most invasive fruit flies, the fly attacks more than 430 different species of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Agricultural officials in the state say if the insect proliferates in the continental U.S., it can potentially ravage commercial agriculture and make it difficult and extremely expensive to grow fruit, nuts and vegetables, including in Florida.

Last month,  Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putman declared a state of agricultural emergency due to the fly infestation in the county.

"The Oriental Fruit Fly is one of the world's most destructive pests and poses a significant threat to Florida's $123 billion agriculture industry and the 2 million jobs it supports," said Putman. "Miami-Dade County's agriculture industry is a $1.6 billion industry, and we will use every weapon in our arsenal that's necessary to eradicate this pest and protect Florida agriculture and our economy."

Due to the infestation in the Redland area, 97-square miles remain quarantined.

Department of Agriculture officials said they would reach out to those who are registered as beekeepers, fish farmers, stakeholders and those with chemical sensitivities who may need to make adjustments ahead of the spraying.


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