An infestation in several Texas counties has affected some produce owners as different areas throughout the state are under quarantine.
Hidalgo Cameron and Willacy counties are under Mexican fruit fly quarantine which could cause an economic loss affecting more than 40 different kinds of fruits.
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture each year the pest enter’s the Rio Grande Valley damaging thousands of commercial Citrus crops.
“Mexican fruit flies not native to the United States so whenever it’s detected, it’s a concern for us because it affects the fruits on the citrus trees. “ – Joseph Ramirez
While these fruits are safe for human and animal consumption they cannot be sold. We spoke to Mexican exporting company which important Guava to the U.S. and who, for years, was affected by the infestation of this pest. For years we had an exporting restriction in Mexico because of the Mexican fruit fly in Mexico.
“For years we had an exporting restriction in Mexico because of the Mexican fruit fly. But in 2008 the US Department of Agriculture and Mexican Officials approved Guava exporting by using irradiation and pesticide.” – Alberto Diaz-Martinez
Spring Valley fruits director Alberto Diaz-Martinez says these measures are taken during the packaging process in Mexico to avoid spreading of the insect into the U.S.
For those in the quarantined areas…
“The most important thing is to not move fruit in or out of that quarantined area. Also they have trees on their property or asking the public to help us by removing the fruit off of their trees” – Joseph Ramirez
A tip for Farmers is that they are throwing away fruit, make sure it is double-bagged.
Like to learn more about which areas are under quarantine you can visit: www.saveourcitrus.org