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94 Square Mile Area Of San Jose Placed Under Fruit Fly Quarantine

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – State agricultural officials have ordered residents in the southern and eastern parts of the city of San Jose not to move homegrown fruits and vegetables out of the area after invasive fruit flies from Asia were discovered.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), a 94 square mile area of the city has been placed under quarantine after six Oriental Fruit Flies were discovered near the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

The quarantine area is roughly bordered by the Alum Rock neighborhood to the north, South Bascom Avenue to the west, Santa Teresa County Park to the south and Joseph D. Grant County Park to the east.

San Jose Fruit Fly Quarantine
Map of San Jose Oriental Fruit Fly quarantine. (California Department of Food and Agriculture)

While residents in the quarantine area are urged not to take homegrown fruits and vegetables off their properties, they can still be consumed on site. For the time being, officials said fruits and vegetables should either be disposed in the garbage disposal or double bagged in regular trash, not green waste.

According to CDFA, the Oriental Fruit Fly targets more than 230 different fruit, vegetable and plant commodities. The flies commonly enter California on fruits and vegetables brought illegally by travelers or by infested produce shipped through the mail.

While widespread in southern Asia, the flies have invaded other parts of the world, including Africa and Hawaii.

Officials said infestations are eliminated by placing small patches of fly attractant and organic pesticide on trees and other surfaces about 10 feet off the ground to attract and kill male fruit flies. Earlier this year, CDFA officials performed the treatments in a 15 square mile area in East San Jose.

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