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Putnam: Oriental Fruit Fly 'Successfully Eradicated'

oriental_fruit_fly.jpg
Wikimedia Commons

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Friday said his department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture "have successfully eradicated" a highly destructive type of insect found in August in Miami-Dade County.

The Oriental fruit fly has been a target of a series of eradication efforts, including quarantine, in an effort "to protect not only Miami-Dade County's $1.6 billion agriculture industry, but also Florida's entire $120 billion agriculture industry," Putnam said in a prepared statement.

With the end of the quarantine, Miami-Dade farmers will be able to move products freely, according to Putnam's office.

"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 six months,” said Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The feds and the state will continue to monitor more 56,000 traps statewide to quickly identify any future infestations.