REDLANDS, CALIF. (VVNG.com) — Authorities have issued a mandatory order for the removal of fruit from trees at over 2,000 homes in Redlands, in San Bernardino County, as part of an aggressive strategy to tackle the infestation of the Oriental fruit fly.
The recently announced action represents a decisive move to tackle the agricultural pest problem, as detailed earlier in a report by VVNG.
Spearheaded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and supported by federal and local agencies, the aggressive strategy scheduled to commence at the end of January seeks to eliminate potential breeding grounds for the pests by clearing susceptible fruit from residential areas.
Efforts are being concentrated on eliminating all fruits from properties that may harbor the Oriental fruit fly. The campaign will deal with a range of citrus fruits as well as many other types susceptible to infestation. Despite the removal of the fruit, the trees themselves will not be subject to damage.
The affected zone encompasses properties both north and south of I-10, extending from E. Highland Avenue down to Silver Leaf Ct., with Garden Street and Elizabeth Street marking the western limit, and Alta Vista Drive as the eastern boundary. Detailed mapping of this operation area is accessible through the CDFA website, providing residents with the precise locations subject to fruit removal.
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The Oriental fruit fly poses a critical threat to Californian agriculture, with the potential to lay eggs in over 230 varieties of fruits and crops such as nuts, vegetables, and berries. These eggs, which develop into larvae, have the ability to cause vast agricultural losses valued in the billions and endanger California’s food supply chain if the fly becomes permanently established.
“Residents in the Redlands area are strongly urged to cooperate with agricultural officials working on the project, as fruit removal is mandatory,” County Officials stated, adding that this campaign is overseen by the CDFA, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the local agricultural commissioners’ office.
Their combined efforts aim to disrupt the life cycle of the invasive species. Resident notification will occur 48 hours in advance of the scheduled removals, with work crews arriving after the notice period concludes.
These crews will be comprised of personnel from the CDFA, USDA, the California Conservation Corps, as well as private contractors who specialize in agricultural operations like fruit removal.
The CDFA urges residents within the regulated area not to harvest the fruit themselves and to refrain from transporting any produce off their property. If fallen fruit must be discarded, it should be double-bagged and placed in trash bins rather than compost bins or other containers meant for organic waste, to minimize the risk of the Oriental fruit fly’s propagation.
For more detailed information on the Oriental fruit fly and the eradication program, residents can visit CAFruitFly.com.
The fruit removal campaign against this invasive species is expected to continue until late February, with agricultural officials stressing the importance of community involvement in safeguarding local and commercial crops from this significant threat.
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