The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have eradicated an Oriental fruit fly infestation in the La Verne area of Los Angeles County, Calif.

“The Oriental fruit fly poses a serious threat to California farming and our backyard gardens as well,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “I would like to thank the residents of Los Angeles County who helped us eradicate this infestation by complying with the quarantine and cooperating with our crews.”

An 84-square-mile quarantine was declared and an eradication effort began in July 2009 after four Oriental fruit flies were detected in traps.

The eradication program consisted of “male attractant” treatment utilizing a minute amount of pesticide mixed with male fruit fly attractant and squirted in small quantities on trees.

CDFA has been using this technique for more than 30 years and has a 100 percent success rate in California – never failing to eradicate an Oriental fruit fly infestation.

The quarantine and eradication have ended, but agricultural officials continue to set and check traps for this and many other crop pests in Los Angeles County and throughout the state.

Discovering an infestation early, before it can spread over a large area or affect nearby crops, is a key component of a successful eradication effort.

The Oriental fruit fly is one of many pests that threaten agriculture and residential gardens in California. As personal travel and commercial shipments increase worldwide, the variety and frequency of pests breaching the California border are also on the rise.

The pest can infest over 230 types of fruits and vegetables.