TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Two male Oriental fruit flies have been found in a trap in the Pinellas County community of Safety Harbor.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said Tuesday that the discovery in a grapefruit tree is disturbing because of the extreme risk of exotic fruit fly infestations pose to Florida's $9 billion citrus industry.
Bronson said the good news is the state's fruit fly detection and monitoring program is working well. The state has intensified its trapping efforts in an 81-square-mile area surrounding the Pinellas find.
The Oriental fruit fly is one of the most serious threats to crops. It attacks more than 100 different fruits, vegetables and nuts. Besides citrus, some of its targets are apples, mangos, tomatoes and peppers.