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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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APHIS Removes the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) Quarantine Area in Laredo, Webb County, and Zapata, Zapata County, Texas

September 29, 2020

To: State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials 

On September 13 and 14, 2020, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) removed two Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantines after three Mexfly life-cycles elapsed with no additional detections in these areas.

  • Effective September 13, 2020, APHIS and TDA removed the Mexfly quarantine in Zapata, Zapata County, Texas. On May 11, APHIS confirmed one Mexfly larva from a grapefruit in a residential area of Zapata, Texas, triggering the establishment of a quarantine for this pest. Subsequently, APHIS detected and confirmed three additional larvae and one mated female Mexfly in the regulated area. The quarantine area encompassed approximately 79.8 square miles of Zapata, Zapata County.
  • Effective September 14, 2020, APHIS and TDA removed the Mexfly quarantine in Laredo, Webb County, Texas. On March 3, APHIS confirmed the quarantine trigger of five adult Mexflies within a three-mile radius during the period of one life cycle. APHIS later detected and confirmed an additional adult Mexfly and one larva in the regulated area. The quarantine area encompassed approximately 76.6 square miles of Laredo, Webb County.

APHIS works cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly populations through various control actions per program protocols. 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. 

Osama El-Lissy
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine

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