With Thanksgiving and its generous tradition of sharing coming up next week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is urgently reminding Californians in fruit fly quarantine zones that they should not be moving homegrown produce off their property.
There are seven different fruit fly quarantines currently active in California, in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Sacramento, Riverside, San Bernardino, Contra Costa and Santa Clara. These invasive fruit flies can be spread to new areas on fruits and vegetables so the movement of these products is forbidden in quarantine areas.
If you live in a fruit fly quarantine zone:
- Do not take fresh fruits and vegetables off of your property.
- Adopt the principles of “Don't Pack a Pest” to help prevent future introductions of invasive pests and diseases while traveling.
- Fruits and vegetables must be consumed or processed (i.e., juiced, frozen, or cooked) at the property of origin.
- To dispose of fresh fruits and vegetables, double-bag and seal prior to placing them in the trash–not in your green waste or compost bin.
- Allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property to inspect fruit, check fruit fly traps, or conduct fruit fly eradication activities.
- Report any suspected fruit fly maggots that you find inside of your backyard produce by calling the CDFA Pest Hotline: 1-800-491-1899.
Quarantine maps, restrictions, and other information is available online at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/pe/InteriorExclusion/quarantine.html.
Revised from the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) blog post on November 15, 2023.