USA: Invasive guava fruit fly found in central Florida poses new threat to agriculture, citrus industry
The guava fruit fly is most commonly found overseas. The tiny inspect poses a massive risk to crops because experts say it lays its eggs inside fruit, where eventually new flies are born.
Florida agriculture is roughly a nine billion dollar industry, and is a driving economic force for Central Florida.
“Hopefully there won’t be any more and that this was an isolated incident,” said Vic Story, veteran farmer in Polk County.
Story is keeping a close eye on this latest pest, but he says farmers are used to it.
“There’s always risk in farming. There’s risk in a lot of business. There’s risk in you and I driving down the road. It’s just something you live with and deal with,” he said.
State inspectors are dealing with it by setting up hundreds of traps 81 miles around where the original fly was spotted.
“We’ve been checking the traps on a weekly basis now and we’ve not found an additional fly,” said Denise Feiber, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture.
Experts say that’s a good sign, but they’re not out of the woods yet.
This past summer the government stepped up its campaign to remind oversees travelers not to bring produce into the United States. That’s how they say most invasive pests get here.
Source: ABC Action News