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USF Libraries Exhibits

The "Medfly"


Seald-Sweet Chronicle. Tampa, Fla.: [Florida Citrus Exchange], 1929.

Combined with hurricanes and freezes, Mediterranean fruit fly infestations also pose a major threat to the industry. The "Medfly" is one of the world’s most destructive pests and can infest over 400 plant species, and over 200 commercially grown fruits and vegetables. Larvae destroy fruit from the inside.  Coupled with its short incubation period, the fly can spread rapidly, destroying acres of groves in a matter of days. A recent reoccurrence of the Medfly in the mid-1990s led state regulators to impose strict quarantines on fruit exports to stop the spread. An eradication program introduced sterile male flies into disease-infested areas, and the deployment of thousands of baited traps.  Heavy spraying of Malathion in and near urban areas prompted concern about possible side effects for humans.  Although adult flies have a limited ability to disperse, global trade makes total eradication of this pest nearly impossible, and traps are still distributed to monitor their presence across the state.



Florida Clearing House News. Winter Haven, Fla.: Florida Citrus Growers Clearing House Association, 25 May 1929.