After a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) was found in the leafy residential Santiago suburb of Las Condes in late December, more recent detections this month are much closer to commercial fruit industry operations.
In the first week of this year, 16 Medflies were found in San Bernardo to the capital’s southwest, leading to a control and eradication campaign from the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG).
The first capture was made with two flies – one male and one female – on Jan. 2, and the number has climbed since then.
SAG’s director for the Metropolitana region, Oscar Concha, told Fresh Fruit Portal a 200-meter perimeter had been set around detection sites for quarantine, and within this boundary all fruit was gathered up and destroyed while trees were sprayed with pesticides.
After that, a survey was undertaken of all houses within an 800-meter radius of the detections.
In addition, fruit samples were taken from between 400-800 meters of the detections, leading to the collection of 250kg of fruit which was analyzed in the lab to determine whether or not there was any presence of larvae.
Concha said the campaign could las until April or May depending on temperatures in the coming months.