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Medfly infestation found near USC campus

The production of medflies can be realized in the laboratory by bathing medfly eggs in warm water—a process that kills the female embryos but doesn't harm the male embryos.
The production of medflies can be realized in the laboratory by bathing medfly eggs in warm water—a process that kills the female embryos but doesn't harm the male embryos.
Scott Bauer/USDA/flickr Creative Commons

Agricultural officials are releasing hundreds of thousands of sterile Medflies near the University of Southern California campus in an effort to eradicate an infestation of the citrus-destroying pest.

California Department of Food and Agriculture officials said Monday they found one adult male and five unmated female flies in their traps in the area earlier this month. They also found four larvae on backyard fruit trees last week.

Officials have quarantined an 88-square mile area of central Los Angeles.

They are releasing 250,000 flies per mile every week until the infestation is over.

Part of the area is being treated with an organic fly-eliminating formula and some fruit is being removed.

In the meantime, people are advised not to take any backyard citrus fruit from their property.