Time to quarantine!
They are aggressive and very harmful. The Asian fruit fly has taken over parts of South Miami-Dade to the point where an 85 mile radius has been put on quarantine. As with any infestation, it started with just one found in a trap, within weeks, forty five were caught in one trap. Never has Florida seen numbers of these fruit flies like these.
The fruit fly is known to attack fruits and vegetables. Most flying insects will work for the plants as pollinators; these aggressive flies will destroy total crops of vegetables, nuts and fruits. One area in Florida, near a packing house has caught a total of 116 of these aggressive insects. With a swarm that big they threaten the entire local farming industry, a $700 million dollar industry.
No one knows for sure what caused the infestation, or where the fruit flies came from. It is believed they hitchhiked their way from Asia with a traveler or even possibly with a plant smuggler. While signs of them have been around since the 40’s only a handful of instances have come up and never one this big.
Farmers and researchers are working together to try to put a stop to the infestation. When larvae are found, the entire area is drenched in insecticide. Local farmers are hopeful this is enough. They fear if the crops have to be sprayed more damage could be caused by harming other good insects like bees.
For more information on Asian fruit flies, click here