Valley citrus growers asking residents to get rid of unused fruits to avoid Mexican Fruit Fly

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If you have a citrus tree in your backyard, Valley growers want you to get rid of all the leftover fruits to prevent the Mexican Fruit Fly from damaging crops.

Valley citrus growers are asking Valley residents to eat or trash any citrus fruits by April 1.

They say leaving those oranges or lemons growing in your backyard results in breeding grounds for the Mexican Fruit Fly.

“There’s an estimate of over 1 million trees located in people’s yards Valley-wide,” said Dale Murden with the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation. “Normally, people that have a fruit tree in their yard they don’t treat and they leave the fruit on the trees. That’s the worst thing that can happen to us because you’re leaving a source of food out there for the fruit flies.”

The flies attack the fruit and makes them inedible. It also can hurt growers if the US Department of Agriculture finds the flies and puts the area under quarantine.

“I’ve lost as much as maybe 40 to 60 acres and that’s amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said grower Fred Karle. “It costs a lot of money if we get caught in a quarantine and it can’t be harvested.”

If you think you have a fruit fly problem, reach out to the USDA to come up with a plan to take care of the pest.

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Friday, March 11th 2022

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