San Diego County agriculture officials discovered a Mediterranean fruit fly in a trap last week in Imperial Beach, and local I.B. resident Don Smith – who has a master’s degree in entomology -- says he’s seen no activity from county officials.
“The county has limited staff and is probably using part-time pest management employees that we used to call biological assistants, setting up traps and monitoring them,” says Smith, a retired instructor from Cuyamaca College. “But Imperial Beach is not an agricultural area and only gets attention because we are so close to the entry area. The prevailing winds have a lot to do with infestations, but it’s the economic threshold that determines the course of action. The value of the crop or the cost of eradication.”
Even though county agricultural officials announced an aggressive campaign against the fly in Imperial Beach, on the many neighborhood trees I surveyed -- loquat, fig, orange, lemon, and lime...prime targets of the Medfly -- only one government trap was spotted.