The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has detected an infestation of the white striped fruit fly (WSFF) in the La Verne area of Los Angeles County.

Seven WSFF were detected in traps in the area marking the first time the pest has been detected in the Western Hemisphere.

The fly is native to tropical Southeast Asia where it damages the fruit of many trees, most notably guava and mango. Damage occurs when the female lays eggs inside the fruit. The eggs hatch into maggots that tunnel through the flesh of the fruit making it unfit for consumption.

CDFA eradication crews on Aug. 1 began placing several thousand traps containing a male attractant lure and a small amount of pesticide. The traps will be hung in trees throughout approximately 15 square miles in the La Verne area.

These traps, “bait stations,” attract and kill the male flies effectively eliminating breeding.

Within 200 meters of the sites where the seven flies were trapped, crews will also apply ground treatments with an organic-approved product to the foliage of trees to ensure that any established breeding populations are eradicated.