Although Medfly and Mexfly are currently the primary focus of APHIS domestic and offshore activities, Bactrocera dorsalis (oriental fruit fly, OFF) and other species in this genus are serious potential threats to U.S. industry. In the past decade, the increase in detections of OFF in California and Florida demonstrates the potential for establishment of this pest. The OFF and three other exotic fruit fly species have become established in Hawaii; Bactrocera cucurbitae (melon fly), Bactrcocera latifrons (solanum fruit fly), Cerititas capitata (med fly), all of which are a constant threat to the U.S. mainland. The olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, is an example of a species in this genus that has become established in commercial olive production and ornamental plants in California and threatens virtually all commercial and fruit-bearing ornamental olive plantings. Bactrocera invadens (OFF) has spread rapidly through the Near East and Africa and threatens to colonize areas of the western hemisphere as other exotic pests have done over the years from these areas.
Fruit flies in the family Tephritidae are among the most destructive, feared and well-publicized pests of fruits and vegetables around the world. The genera Anastrepha, Bactrocera, and Ceratitis pose the greatest risk to U.S. agriculture. Tephritid fruit flies spend their larval stages feeding and growing in over 400 host plants. Introduction of these pest species into the United States causes economic losses from destruction and spoiling of host commodities by larvae, costs associated with implementing control measures, and loss of market share due to restrictions on shipment of host commodities. The extensive damage and wide host range of tephritid fruit flies become obstacles to agricultural diversification and trade when pest fruit fly species become established in these areas.
Program Contact Information:
National Fruit Fly Policy Manager