Local residents have begun receiving notices from the state regarding efforts under way to eradicate the Tau fruit fly from the Santa Clarita Valley.
According to the official notice from the California Department of Food and Agriculture County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, “A minimum of [six] treatments will be performed at seven day intervals.” The extraction of the invasive specimen will entail use of the organic insecticide Spinosad, mixed with water and sprayed directly on trees and shrubs.
Residents who are located in the immediate neighborhoods of the infestation are advised to do the following in the official notice:
• Unlock gates in advance.
• Secure or temporarily place pets indoors, along with protecting their dishes.
• Remove outdoor laundry.
• Close doors and windows.
• Move barbecues, toys and furniture away from the trees and shrubs.
Rescheduling can occur if there are unfavorable weather conditions.
According to Ken Pellman, Los Angeles County agricultural commissioner, residents are told in advance as a part of the trapping system.
“When you have a location where a specimen has been confirmed on that property and adjacent properties, the residents are contacted directly [so that] they know what’s going on,” Pellman said. “The host material, the plants that the fly attacks, are those plants that are being treated, and of course, the residents of those properties are informed before it happens.”
Residents have been cooperative with the dates the department has set, he said.
“It’s not like weeks or anything, but [residents are] told in advance. It’s a matter of when we can get the resources there. People have been very cooperative, which is good because the sooner we can get rid of this fly, the better,” Pellman said.
While there is no set calendar, there are up to 49 total specimens confirmed in the quarantine area. If all goes well, the plan is to wrap up treatments before the end of the year.
The local discovery of the invasive fruit fly put nearly 79 square miles of the SCV on a fruit and vegetable quarantine last month.
The Department of Food and Agriculture urged residents living in the quarantine area to not move any fruits and vegetables from their property — they can be juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal at the property where they were picked, otherwise they are to be disposed of by double-bagging them in plastic bags and thrown out.
The quarantine area is bordered on the north by Castaic Junction, on the south by Oat Mountain, on the west by Del Valle and on the east by Honby Avenue.