Fruit fly invasion puts 79 square miles of Los Angeles County under quarantine

A 79-square-mile section of Los Angeles County has been placed under quarantine after an invasive fruit fly known as Tau was discovered in Stevenson Ranch, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) said.

Last week, the CDFA placed a quarantine after more than 20 Tau fruit flies (Zeugodacus tau group) were detected in the unincorporated area of Stevenson Ranch near Santa Clarita.

Tau fruit flies, which are native to Asia, are “a serious pest for agriculture and natural resources” as they have a wide-hosting range for various vegetation native to California.

Residents living in the quarantined area have been urged not to move any fruits or vegetables from their property to prevent the invasive species from spreading.

The CDFA said that residents may consume or process fruits and vegetables from the property they are picked at but otherwise should be disposed of via double-bagging in plastic and placing them in garbage bins.