CHC was informed by the CFIA of the detection in Ontario European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi) (ECFF), a previously unknown pest to North America. The host plants of this pest are cherry species and species of the invasive wild honeysuckle plant (Lonicera sp.).
The detection was associated with the submission to CFIA of a photograph submitted by an amateur entomologist taken in the Credit River Valley Park in Mississauga ON last year. CFIA established traps in the park in 2016 and last week a detections were made and the identity as ECFF was confirmed by DNA barcoding. CFIA has quarantined the park where the detection was made, and removal of wild honeysuckle plant material from the park is prohibited (the fly lays eggs in the berries of the honeysuckle).
CFIA also established traps in the Niagara region in wild areas. Traps were not set in cherry orchards as pesticides used to control Spotted Wing Drosophila would be expected to control ECFF. The expected window for detection is mid-June to mid-July.
CFIA has notified OMAFRA and USDA-APHIS of the confirmed detection in Mississauga. At this time there has been no response or action by USDA-APHIS. A NAPPO Pest Alert will also be issued indicating that BC is free from ECFF. The CFIA indicated that approximately $200,000 of cherries are exported from ON to the US annually. BC exports were reported to be in excess of $35 million.
Currently, there are no phytosanitary requirements for export of ON cherries to the US, while exports to the US from BC require inspection by BC provincial staff (non-CFIA inspection).
The ON cherry industry was to be informed today by OMAFRA and CFIA and the BC industry was to be informed by CFIA today or tomorrow.
CFIA will keep the CHC informed of developments with detection and/or USDA-APHIS response.