Fruit fly discovery prompts eradication effort

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Updated: 6/20/2014 1:06 pm

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — State agriculture officials are spraying vegetation in parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties after two male guava fruit flies were caught in insect traps in Eastvale earlier this month.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Thursday that the eradication area encompasses about 9 square miles around each site where an insect was trapped. It includes much of Eastvale and stretches into Chino and Ontario.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is also setting out poison bait.

The pest, native to Pakistan, India and Thailand, lays its eggs in fruit including melons, oranges and cherries. The larvae then tunnel through the flesh, making it unfit to eat.

The guava fruit fly first turned up in the Western Hemisphere in 1986, when three of the insects were discovered in Orange County.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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