The Chilean Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) has detected a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) in the eastern Santiago suburb of Las Condes, sparking an intense mitigation effort in the capital of South America's only fruit fly-free country.
In an announcement yesterday, SAG said it had put a systematic sampling operation in place for fruit trees in the residential area with the aim of detecting possible instances of fruit fly larvae and eggs.
In addition, authorities have been unloading fruit and treating the soil in houses within a 200-meter radius of the detection zone in a bid to stop any potential outbreak in its tracks.
The detection is far from commercial production areas, and comes two years after successful efforts to contain and eradicate fruit fly in the country's Valparaiso and Coquimbo regions.
Chile - the Southern Hemisphere's leading fresh fruit exporter and a world leader in table grapes, cherries and blueberries - has been grappling with a couple of pest scares this year which to date have not hit commercial areas, including the brown marmorated stinkbug and Spotted wing Drosophila.
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