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APHIS Removes the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) Quarantine Area in Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas

September 9, 2020

To: State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials

Effective August 25, 2020, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas.

On February 3, 2020, APHIS and TDA established a Mexfly quarantine in much of Cameron County, Texas, and restricted interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. This action was necessary after APHIS confirmed multiple detections of adult Mexflies and Mexfly larval sites. Since that time, APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols. At this time, APHIS and TDA have released 162 square miles from the regulated area, of which 2,292.1 acres consist of commercial citrus. APHIS removed the quarantine area after three Mexfly life-cycles elapsed with no additional detections in this area. APHIS continues to work cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the remaining transient Mexfly population in the quarantined area of Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas. The following website contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas:

For additional information on the Mexfly program, please contact Fruit Fly National Policy Manager, Richard Johnson, at 301-851-2109.

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