Argentine Patagonia no longer fruit fly-free zone
Argentina's National Food Quality and Safety Service (SENASA) has detected the Mediterranean fruit fly in the Villa Regina urban zone of Patagonia, the government-run organization published on its website.
Two male specimens of the fly were found on Apr. 12, leading the service's National Plant Protection Directorate (NPAV) to introduce an emergency plan within a 7.2km (4.47 miles)radius of the finding, as well as phytosanitary measures in all areas that were still fruit fly-free.
Until the detection Argentine Patagonia was an internationally-recognized fruit fly-free zone, but now horticultural freight from the epicenter area will be subject to quarantine treatment.
Female fruit flies attack ripening fruit, pierce the skin and lay eggs inside, which feed on fruit pulp once they become larvae.
The pest, also known as the medfly, has invaded various parts of the world in the past and been eradicated, as was the case in several U.S. states, Chile and New Zealand.
Villa Regina's economy is driven by the fruit industry, mainly focused on pears and apples.
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