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

FOR INFORMATION AND ACTION
DA-2021-14
June 17, 2021

 To: State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials 

On June 3, 2021, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) released portions of the Cameron County, Texas, Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine after three Mexfly life-cycles elapsed with no additional detections in these areas. Releasing these areas, which totaled 94.75 square miles including 52.2 acres of commercial citrus, has resulted in reduction of the Cameron County Mexfly quarantine to three smaller quarantines. APHIS and TDA posted these renamed quarantine areas: “Brownsville Mexfly quarantine” (229.1 sq. mi. with 888 acres of commercial citrus), “Harlingen Mexfly quarantine” (323.9 sq. mi. with 2,234 acres of commercial citrus) and “Las Yescas Mexfly quarantine” (62 sq. mi. with 458.7 acres of commercial citrus) on their respective websites. These areas will be released from quarantine when each meets the quarantine release criterion. 

APHIS and TDA established the original Cameron County Mexfly quarantine following confirmed detections, from January 14 to February 3, 2020, of 80 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and two commercial groves in Cameron County, Texas. Subsequently, between February 4 to February 11, 2020, APHIS confirmed additional 17 Mexfly adults and 16 larval detections. APHIS and TDA responded to these additional confirmed detections by expanding the quarantine in Cameron County, and restricted interstate movement of regulated articles from this area to prevent the spread of Mexfly to non-infested areas of the United States. APHIS has worked cooperatively with TDA to eradicate the transient Mexfly population through various control actions per program protocols. 

The following website contains a description of all the current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas: 

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/ff-quarantine 

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

/s/

Dr. Osama El-Lissy
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine


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