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Calif. Agriculture Officials Lift 1 Medfly Quarantine

— California agriculture authorities have declared success in one of several battles against the Mediterranean fruit fly.

A Mediterranean fruit fly.
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Above: A Mediterranean fruit fly.

The Food and Agriculture Department said Tuesday it is lifting a quarantine in 93 square miles of San Diego County's Spring Valley. Officials had urged the public not to move produce from the area since late year.

Nearly 3 million sterile Medflies were released in the area each week. Sterile males mate with fertile females, producing no offspring, and that has eradicated the pest there.

Quarantines remain in the Mira Mesa and Imperial Beach areas of the county.

Medflies can harm more than 260 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Agriculture spokesman Steve Lyles says a permanent infestation could result in annual losses up to $1.8 billion statewide.

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