Tau fruit fly quarantine lifted in SCV  

Quarantine Boundary in Santa Clarita. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Quarantine Boundary in Santa Clarita. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

News release 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, working in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner, has declared an end to the Tau fruit fly quarantine in the Santa Clarita Valley following the eradication of the invasive pest.   

The Tau fruit fly was first detected in the area in July 2023 and led to the first-ever quarantine for the pest in the Western Hemisphere. The quarantine encompassed the city of Santa Clarita and surrounding areas in parts of Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, Castaic Junction, Oat Mountain and Del Valle.    

“Following one of the largest statewide invasive fruit fly populations we’ve seen in a number of years in California, we’re incredibly proud that we’ve been able to successfully achieve eradication of the Tau fruit fly,” Victoria Hornbaker, director of CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division, said in a news release. “The lifting of this quarantine proves that our efforts are working, and the responsiveness and cooperation of residents across California and our partners is critical to that success.”   

During the quarantine, crops that are hosts for the fruit fly — which include more than 300 varieties, such as citrus and other fruits, nuts, vegetables and berries — were not allowed to be moved from the properties where they were grown. Commercial crops were required to meet stringent treatment or processing standards before being harvested or moved.   

While several fruit fly quarantines have now been lifted in California, four additional quarantines remain and still threaten the state’s natural environment, agriculture and economy, the release said. 

As temperatures rise and vacationers ramp up their travel plans, agriculture officials urge residents to refrain from bringing back potentially infested produce from their trips. When at home, residents are encouraged to stay vigilant for signs of invasive pests.  

To help prevent any future introductions of invasive species, the release said residents should follow these guidelines:    

  • Cooperate with agricultural officials and allow them access to your garden to place traps, inspect plants, conduct necessary treatments or remove potentially infested produce.    
  • Determine if your property is located within an active quarantine area by visiting CAFruitFly.com.    
  • Buy fruit trees and vegetable plants from licensed California nurseries. Purchasing agricultural goods from uncertified sources can spread invasive pests. Source your plants locally and responsibly. To find a licensed nursery near you, visit CDFA’s Directory of Licensed Nurseries.    
  • When entering the United States from another country, avoid bringing agricultural products — including fruits or vegetables.  

To learn more about invasive species and how to protect the county’s fruits and vegetables, visit  CaFruitFly.com  or acwm.lacounty.gov.     


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