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Environment

Fruit Flies Detected in Miami, Officials Declare Emergency

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Florida agriculture officials have declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County, where an Oriental fruit fly infestation has the potential to attack hundreds of crops.

In a news release Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the first fruit fly was detected Aug. 26. Since then, 158 flies have been detected, many in the Redland area of the county.

Fruit flies lay eggs in fruits and vegetables. They're considered one of the world's most serious pests due to the potential economic harm. The fly attacks more than 430 different fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Officials have quarantined an 85-square-mile area, treated certain areas and removed fruit where flies have been detected.

Putnam also said a pesticide certified for use in organic farming will be sprayed in certain areas.