Oriental Fruit Fly Infestation Found in Los Altos

State agricultural crews began attacking an infestation of the oriental fruit fly in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills on Friday.

Crews spent the day putting a special type of insecticide on trees in a 14-square-mile radius to lure and kill off the male flies to stop the reproduction cycle of the tiny pest. The response comes after two Oriental Fruit Flies were found in traps on Thursday.

"I know many people in the neighborhood have citrus," Los Altos-resident Amy Franzblau said. "So I'm really concerned that it be taken care of."

The bait is a mix of a pheromone lure to attract male flies and an insecticide to kill them.

Workers emphasized the amount and location of the bait means there is no threat to the public.

State and county agricultural officials said it is crucial to stop the infestation early and point out the oriental fruit fly attacks over 230 kinds of fruits and vegetables.

"People don't realize if a quarantine is declared and a grower is about to harvest their fruit they are out of luck," said Michelle Thom, Santa Clara County Deputy Agricultural Commissioner.

The state is also in the midst of an eradication effort in Cupertino after six flies were found in the area last month.

"This is a perfect example of another insect that should not be here, is not from here," Santa Clara County Agricultural Commissioner Joe Deviney said.

Authorities said the bait treatments take a few days to apply and is repeated every two weeks for about eight weeks.

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