TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have successfully eradicated the Oriental Fruit Fly in Miami-Dade County. The Oriental Fruit Fly is one of the most devastating threats to agriculture, as it attacks more than 430 different commodities, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services first found it in Miami-Dade County in August 2015.
“I thank all of our partners, including Miami-Dade County's community members, who worked diligently to protect not only Miami-Dade County's $1.6 billion agriculture industry, but also Florida's entire $120 billion agriculture industry from the Oriental Fruit Fly. I also thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture for working with us on our collaborative eradication efforts,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Unfortunately, battling invasive pests has become all too common in Florida with our numerous ports and robust trade industry, and we must address the root cause.”
“As a result of the hard work and close coordination of federal, state, and local officials and industry partners, we were able to contain this outbreak to a relatively small 99-square mile area and eliminate it in fewer than 6 months,” said Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “The key to success is our ability to rapidly detect and respond to new outbreaks before they can spread.”
With the conclusion of the eradication efforts, which occurs at 12 a.m. on Feb. 13, the Miami-Dade County agriculture industry that had been affected by the quarantine can now move products freely, and all compliance agreements pursuant to the Oriental Fruit Fly eradication program are now null and void.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue to monitor the more 56,000 traps throughout Florida to quickly identify any future economically damaging fruit flies that may enter the state.
Travelers can avoid unknowingly bringing plants, food and other agricultural items that contain harmful pests and diseases into Florida by following the tips on DontPackAPest.com.