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APHIS Expands the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) Quarantine Areas in Cameron County, Texas

August 13, 2021

To: State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials 

Effective July 14, 2021, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) expanded the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantines in the cities of Brownsville and Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area. 

Between June 25 and July 14, 2021, APHIS confirmed the detections of 87 adult Mexflies in Brownsville and Harlingen. Although the detections were within the Brownsville and Harlingen quarantines, some detections were close enough to the perimeters of the quarantines to trigger expansion of the quarantines. Traps in residential areas, in a variety of dooryard citrus (grapefruit, key lime, lemon, sour orange and sweet orange) and stone fruit trees (mango and peach), accounted for 69 of the 87 detections. The remaining 18 detections were from traps in commercial grapefruit and sweet orange groves. With these detections, the Brownsville quarantine expanded from 229 square miles with 888 acres of commercial citrus to approximately 446 square miles with 1,412 acres of commercial citrus. This is an expansion of the Brownsville quarantine of approximately 217 square miles with 524 acres of commercial citrus. The Harlingen quarantine expanded from 192 square miles with 2,079 acres of commercial citrus to approximately 231 square miles with 2,095 acres of commercial citrus. This is an expansion of the Harlingen quarantine of 39 square miles with 16 acres of commercial citrus. 

APHIS and TDA established the original Cameron County quarantine following the confirmed detections, between January 14 and February 3, 2020, of 80 adult Mexflies and 14 Mexfly larval sites in citrus from various residential areas and two commercial groves. By establishing the quarantine, APHIS and TDA 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: 

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


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

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