EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 5, 2013

Wanted: A no-fly zone

Asian fruit fly threatens local fruit crops

(Continued)

“It seems like the first catch is from the first to the middle of July,” Hamilton said.

Officials don’t really know why, though heat and length of day may have something to do with it.

“Last year, the middle of August was when they exploded, damaging raspberries and blueberries,” Hamilton said.

There is debate whether tomatoes could suffer, too, though that hasn’t happened yet and Hamilton is skeptical.

The fly is small, so its eggs are barely visible.

But their presence can make fruit degrade and perish more quickly.

“This is not like a bruise on an apple,” Bonanno said.

Consumers need to act.

“Refrigerate and eat the fruit as soon as you can,” Hamilton recommends. “Take out what you need.”

There’s no reason to abandon local growers, officials say, because the fly is virtually everywhere across the fruited plain.

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