New invasive fly detected in northern South Africa

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New invasive fly detected in northern South Africa

New occurrences of invasive fruit fly Bactrocera invadens have been detected in South Africa's Limpopo province, according to a government media release.

Photo: Bob Copeland

The fly causes severe damage to host plants, including mangoes, citrus, guavas, papayas, bananas, bell peppers, pumpkins and tomatoes.

A quarantine area has been called near Kruger National Park, spanning east to west from the Mhinga village to the Makonde village, and north to south from the Soutpansberg mountain range and the Levuhu river.

Other detections were made earlier in the year in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In most of these areas, the pest has been successfully removed.

The government has asked that all fallen and rotting fruit in the area be discarded and buried under a half meter (1.6 feet) of soil. Alternatively, fruit can be stored in a strong, undamaged garbage bag and securely closed off.

The Bactrocera invadens fruit fly was first reported on the African continent in 2003. Alongside South Africa, it has also been detected in Kenya, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The government urges that no fruit be brought into South Africa without a phytosanitary import permit and that no fruit leave the quarantine zone.

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