Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Tiny Fruit Flies Get Me on TV

Thanks for two male Oriental Fruit Fly specimens founds in Glendale, I'm being quoted in newspapers, heard on news radio, and and seen on television news.

Yesterday, KFWB AM 980 and KNX AM 1070 both recorded phone interviews with me, and I heard some of my quotes on KFWB today.

Today, I did on-camera interviews with KTTV Channel 11, KNBC-TV Channel 4, and KABC-TV Channel 7. KABC has the video on their website. I haven't seen myself on KNBC, and KTTV's news airs in about half an hour.

I was also quoted on the KCAL-TV 9/KCBS-TV 2 news website:
"People can go about their daily lives without concern," said Ken Pellman, public information officer for the Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures.

I was also quoted in the Glendale News-Press:
Two Oriental fruit flies — which as larvae are among the most destructive insects to fruits and vegetables — turned up Aug. 21 and Friday in insect traps, which are used to monitor pest activity, said Ken Pellman, spokesman for the L.A. County agricultural commissioner.

In response, the department will conduct a large-scale eradication effort, applying pesticide-laced bait 6 to 8 feet up tree trunks and utility poles, covering about 600 spots per square mile, Pellman said.

The agent is designed to kill male fruit flies and is not harmful to humans, he added.

“It’s a really effective method we find,” he said. “Oriental fruit flies have been found before, but these eradication efforts have been very successful in the past, so that they don’t become established and get a foothold in the area.”

A wild fruit fly population could threaten agricultural crops, as well as vegetable and fruit trees in private yards, Pellman said.

“Hopefully, these were the only two, and that’s entirely possible because we do set up traps — there are traps everywhere — and we keep checking them for these pests, and quite often they don’t show up again,” he said.

Though Glendale has little agriculture, the pests can pose problems for plant nurseries, which could have controls put on their shipments if the area were to be quarantined over a fruit fly scare, Pellman said.


The Oriental fruit fly reportedly has the potential to wreak more havoc than the infamous Oriental fruit flies, which are native to Southeast Asia and are found in Hawaii and other Pacific islands, can be brought in by travelers transporting fruits and vegetables into the continental United States, as well as in goods shipped into the country, Pellman said.

“There’s no way to know for sure, but with transportation being what it is, people travel, and they’ll bring back fruits and vegetables,” he said.

“Or relatives or friends from their country of origin will send them as gifts, or they could just stow away in cargo holds of airplanes.”

Inspections at shipping ports and airports are designed to keep harmful insects from migrating into the United States via produce, he added.

“We do have efforts to check at ports and airports and shipping to check for pests on shipment that’s entering, whether it’s fruits, vegetables or ornamental plants,” he said.

“It’s possible they can get through that way too, but we do have pretty good inspectors in that regard.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YAY! My love was on TV! :)