Environment: Trying to Thwart the Fruit Fly

Fearing a farm disaster, California begins aerial spraying

In Northern California the biological clock was ticking away. As helicopters began spraying the insecticide Malathion on infested areas just south of San Francisco, they were racing against the marvelous reproductive capacities of the tiny Mediterranean fruit fly: a mature female can produce 1,000 eggs over its two-month life span. Last week alone, the targeted area expanded from 120 to 140 to 180 sq. mi. and fears mounted that the fly was about to break out of the Bay Area and move into the lush farm lands of the San Joaquin Valley. The long-range...

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