Disposal bins have been placed at several locations inside Long Beach Airport recently, in response to an 80-square mile quarantine that includes LGB and large portions of Long Beach. Passengers will not be allowed to travel with fruits and vegetables that were homegrown within the quarantine zone, and the USDA asks that they use these new bins to dispose of them before boarding their flight.
The quarantine is for the Guava Fruit Fly, which has been discovered within the quarantine zone and can pose a hazard to vital local crops. The quarantine zone also includes portions of Lynwood, Downey, Norwalk, Paramount, Compton, Artesia, Lakewood and Hawaiian Gardens. In the past, Guava Fruit Flies caused extensive damage to crops in Pakistan, India and Thailand. They were first discovered in this region when they surfaced in Orange County in 1986, and have been identified sporadically since.
State officials discovered six male Guava Fruit Flies within the quarantine zone back in mid-May, and quickly outlined a plan to eradicate them from the area. Originating in southern Asia, the Guava Fruit Fly lays its eggs in fruits and vegetables, quickly rendering them inedible. Crops most at risk include guava, peach, cherry, citrus and melons. They can also be found in apples, bananas, cherries, papaya, plums and others.
As a result, fruits and vegetables that were grown within the quarantine zone will not be permitted through the Security checkpoint. Please be sure to dispose of locally-grown fruits and vegetables in the marked bins, and help us ensure that these insects do not spread to other locations.