Several Bactrocera dorsalis specimens were detected in the affected area between the end of February and the third week of May, 2019.
A single male specimen of OFF was detected on 25 February 2019 from a Methyl Eugenol-baited fruit fly trap in Bethlehem. Two more specimens were detected from the same trap, on 16 April 2019. Subsequently, six more specimens were detected from four different delimiting traps, by 21 May 2019.
Bethlehem is situated in Thabo Mufutsanyana District Municipality, in the Eastern part of the Free State Province. The identifications of all the specimens were confirmed by a recognized entomologist though molecular analysis.
All the affected areas were quarantined; the delimiting surveys and phytosanitary actions to restrict and control the movement of host material were initiated with immediate effect after the first detections in accordance with the South African Bactrocera dorsalis Fruit Fly (SABiFF) Action Plan.
Eradication actions will be deployed for a minimum period of eight weeks or over two life cycles of the OFF if it is longer than 8 weeks. After implementation of eradication actions, a monitoring period of four weeks or one life cycle will be conducted. If there are no further detections during the monitoring period, the quarantine areas can be declared as free from the presence of Bactrocera dorsalis.