Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Was Quoted About Medflies

I've been busy working extra hours over the last couple of days. Why? Meditterranean Fruit Flies, or "Medflies" for short. It's a non-native pest that agriculture professionals want to keep out of California. There is a long, heated history when it comes to that fight, so when fertile Medflies are found, the news media takes note. Most people, however, would never notice the present-day methods used to eradicate this pest.

Megan Bagdonas of the Daily Breeze talked with me about the situation yesterday. Here are quotes from her article:

“The chances of a fertile female finding a fertile male is extremely small once there’s hundreds of thousands of these sterile males flying around,” said Ken Pellman, spokesman for the county Agriculture Commissioner’s Office.


Adult Medflies are not harmful, but the eggs they lay inside fruits and vegetables hatch into hungry larvae that destroy agricultural crops. Officials say they don’t know where the South Bay invaders came from.

“We have inspectors at the airport and the port that examine for pests, but it’s possible they got through when a cargo door was opened,” Pellman said. “That’s why we tell people traveling not to bring in fruits or vegetables, especially from Hawaii,” which has a Medfly infestation..

“If this fly gets a foothold in the state, prices of fruit and vegetables will skyrocket and organic farmers, especially, will have a lot more crop loss,” Pellman said. “An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.”

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