Millions of Fruit Flies Will Be Dropped On Los Angeles – Slashdot

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I’m sending in more trains!
Hope this goes better than when WKRP in Cincinnati [wikipedia.org] dropped turkeys [youtube.com] from a helicopter for Thanksgiving
“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
Turkeys Away [wikipedia.org] (S1E7)
Unless their wings are clipped, turkeys can fly.
They aren’t distance flyers, and don’t migrate, but they can fly up into trees or fly a few hundred meters to escape a predator.
Even domestic turkeys can glide or fly over a fence.
The WKRP episode that described them as falling like concrete was not realistic.

They aren’t distance flyers, and don’t migrate, but they can fly up into trees or fly a few hundred meters to escape a predator.

They aren’t distance flyers, and don’t migrate, but they can fly up into trees or fly a few hundred meters to escape a predator.
We have wild turkeys wandering through our neighborhood. I’ve seen them fly across my yard and “roost” on my roof. They don’t do it very often, I think they were spooked by something. I’d never seen anything like it.

The WKRP episode that described them as falling like concrete was not realistic.

The WKRP episode that described them as falling like concrete was not realistic.
They were frozen, like you find at the supermarket.
That was the joke…
i remember when you lot went full BDS over a fake story that burgers were gonna be rationed. it was so bad that fox news had to issue a retraction. heh
The flies aren’t GMO. They are sterilized with radiation.
Native LA Resident here. They’ve been doing this for years, whenever an infestation crops up. No big deal.
This sort of thing has been used for mosquito control and it works fairly well.
The only information that I could find was about an experiment in Brazil, that even though it reduced temporarly the population of mosquitoes it had unforeseen gene contamination.
https://gizmodo.com/geneticall… [gizmodo.com]
They’ve been doing it in Florida for the last year to control the type of mosquitos that spread Zika.
https://www.palmbeachpost.com/… [palmbeachpost.com]
A year is too short of a time to assess the long term consequences.
California has been doing it for decades.
1989 California medfly attack [wikipedia.org]
Even in theory, what “consequences” could there be? Even if a tiny percentage of the males are not sterile, it is still better than not dispersing them. Then 100% of the males would be fertile.
It has been determined now that at the time of the 1989 Med Fly infestation that it had become endemic to Southern California. These periodic releases cannot eliminate it from the region but are proven effective in keeping it under control for 27 years now. This is a well established practice now and there is no known downside to it.
A year is too short of a time to assess the long term consequences.
As I mentioned in a >a href=”https://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=23116580&cid=63973680″>comment lower down: The US and Panamanian governments have been releasing sterile screwworm flies into the Darien Gap for decades. It’s been very successful – the kind of success where hardly anyone knows about it.
You haven’t looked very hard. This has been done multiple times in the USA, South American countries, and Australia. This is so common that we’re not even analysing if it’s effective anymore, instead we’re analysing the best ways to optimise the release in terms of time, rate and distribution to maximise effectiveness in relation to how many sterile subjects are required.

it had unforeseen gene contamination

it had unforeseen gene contamination
Giant irradiated mosquitoes. Big enough to carry off small children.

Giant irradiated mosquitoes. Big enough to carry off small children.

Giant irradiated mosquitoes. Big enough to carry off small children.
Don’t they already have this in Alaska?
ObJoke: Why didn’t the Alaskan put screens on his windows? None of the mosquitoes could fit through the window.

You don’t mess with evolution. I can guarantee that this will go wrong.

You don’t mess with evolution. I can guarantee that this will go wrong.
Humans have literally been messing with evolution for millennia, often to great success. Sometimes things go wrong, which has almost universally been to do with introducing a completely foreign subject into an environment, but this is not that and we’ve been doing preventative releases for decades across the planet and it’s almost universally been a success. And I am talking generically, flies, mosquitos (it’s how we manage infectious disease carriers in the west), I’m not even talking about this specific s

“Life finds a way”. You don’t mess with evolution. I can guarantee that this will go wrong. Some of these “sterile” flies will not be sterile because of some genetic anomaly and then only these flies will have offspring and then you just created a completely new species, since you killed of the old species.

“Life finds a way”. You don’t mess with evolution. I can guarantee that this will go wrong. Some of these “sterile” flies will not be sterile because of some genetic anomaly and then only these flies will have offspring and then you just created a completely new species, since you killed of the old species.
That’s why the state is so focused on killing them all. Evolution doesn’t work if none of the genes get passed down.
We used to kill medflies with insecticides. My wife remembers helicopters spraying Malathion over her neighborhood. We’ve been using the sterile mail technique for at least 30 years and it seems to work much better.
I don’t think the sterile males are created by genetic tools. Last I heard we just zap them with radiation to sterilize them (but maybe that’s changed). Sadly, no superheroes have a
I don’t understand why parent has been marked as a troll. It is obviously wrong, but it is still a valid comment.
Here are some reasons why “life finds a way” is wrong
– If you take Earth and throw it into the Sun all life will die. Life does not find a way.
– There are several species that have gone extinct, so we also know that it is quite common for one species to die without finding a way. So it would be completely normal for fruit flies just getting killed without generating any new species.
So we pretty m
“Life finds a way”. You don’t mess with evolution
Except we’ve certainly been “messing with evolution” for over 10,000 years, and more likely over 20,000 years. Maybe even 30,000 years if you’re a dog.
Some of these “sterile” flies will not be sterile because of some genetic anomaly and then only these flies will have offspring
You’re misunderstanding the action. In the terms of the last few years of trying to manage the SARS-COV-2 virus (and hence the Covid disease), the aim is not to reduce the “R” number fo
Will they also take the million flying around my bananas?
I find this interesting because usually it is the American species which are considered invasive and problematic.
A lot of various species in Europe were wiped out by their American equivalents (toads, squirrels, mosquitoes…)
Chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, emerald ash borer, and white pine blister rust came the other way. The US had to mostly exterminate the local currants (aka goose berries) to stop the last one.
European house sparrows are at my bird feeder, and Eurasian collared doves moved in a few years ago. And the starlings have gone south for the winter.
There is quite the interchange in progress.
>European house sparrows are at my bird feeder,
But are they unladen?
hawk

I find this interesting because usually it is the American species which are considered invasive and problematic.

I find this interesting because usually it is the American species which are considered invasive and problematic.
I think this is immediacy bias. Species are invasive when they are non-native AND are considered a nuisance or deleterious to existing species.
In America, we don’t think of many European species as invasive because they’ve become naturalized and accepted over, in many cases, 300+ years. Honeybees fly around stinging people and efficiently collecting nectar that could have been collected by native species. Not invasive because we like pollinators and honey. Africanized “killer bees” — invasive species (we d
Feral hogs are indeed considered an invasive species, and in Texas you can kill them and unlimited numbers year long.

Those who live within the zone are urged not to transport any fruits or vegetables from their property and to double-bag them in plastic before tossing them in the trash.

Those who live within the zone are urged not to transport any fruits or vegetables from their property and to double-bag them in plastic before tossing them in the trash.
I thought plastic bag were illegal in California? And throwing them in the garage? That’ll get you shot out of a cannon.
In related news contingency plans are being drawn up in case a follow up plane full of spiders is required.
If sufficient funds can be allocated longer term plans for planes full of cats and dogs are also being considered.
Neither myself or an old lady know why ?
Ah yes, The Simpsons’ method of contingency planning [youtube.com]. Unfortunately, this being Los Angeles, freezing doesn’t occur so something else will need to be looked into.
Sir, you have achieved the much-ballyhooed Pefect Post.
> in an effort to eradicate
Is that really a possibility? The little buggers are a plague here in Western Australia. I’ve almost given up trying to get citrus fruit from my garden. It needs so much pesticide, and you still get maggots. BTW, the name is a misnomer, as they are actually native to sub-Saharan Africa.
The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population. Eradicating has knock on ecosystem effects, even if the species is invasive.
Australia has been doing this as well. Specifically fruit flies, and specifically the picture of a release team on the DAFF website is of the program running in Western Australia https://www.agriculture.gov.au… [agriculture.gov.au]

The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population.

The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population.
Oh no, the goal is to eradicate the files in the state. Medflies are not native to California and we desperately want to keep it that way. If we detect the infestation early enough, we actually can kill them all. Seems we go through this fire drill at least every 5-10 years.
Protecting California agriculture is why there are agricultural inspection stations on every major road leading into the state. You or I can’t bring any fruits or produce grown out-of-state into the state to prevent just this sort of thing. I generally assume regulations like this are all about protectionism and crony deals but not in this case. It really is trying to prevent damaging invasive species from getting a foothold.
It’s weird. California is an enormous state but it’s really a landlocked island. Most of the borders are very sparsely populated with surprisingly few highways (my guess is fewer than 100) in and out. You wouldn’t think you could effectively patrol and control a thousand-mile border but actually, we can.

The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population.

Oh no, the goal is to eradicate the files in the state. Medflies are not native to California and we desperately want to keep it that way. If we detect the infestation early enough, we actually can kill them all.

The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population.

The word “eradicate” is stupid science reporting by a crap paper. The goal is not to eradicate. It’s to manage the population.
Oh no, the goal is to eradicate the files in the state. Medflies are not native to California and we desperately want to keep it that way. If we detect the infestation early enough, we actually can kill them all.
Sadly no, they have been endemic since the late 1980s. We can show genetically now that the ones that pop up every few years are from the same founding population.

Seems we go through this fire drill at least every 5-10 years.

Seems we go through this fire drill at least every 5-10 years.
We do, and have been doing it for 27 years (before that malathion bait spray was used). It does knock the population down to undetectable levels for a few years, so it is an effective management technique.

–Les Nessman.

–Les Nessman.
Actually, that was Arthur Carlson’s line. I remember watching that when it first aired. Getting old….
Will noone think of the poor, sub-minimum wage workers who have to perform thousands of tiny vasectomies each shift?
“Don’t you realize what you fools have done? Now we have an infestation of *half-sterile* fruit flies!” 🙂
hawk
Headline: “Millions of Fruit Flies Will Be Dropped On Los Angeles”
Wouldn’t it make more sense to drop them on San Francisco?

The Mediterranean fruit fly is very tiny — only about 1/4 inch in length…

The Mediterranean fruit fly is very tiny — only about 1/4 inch in length…
A quarter of an inch in length??? Maybe fruit flies are smaller here in Canada – if I ever saw one that size in my house I’d be tempted to go full-on carnivore…
When they say tiny, I think it’s meant as in comparison to common houseflies which – in the area – are usually about a half inch and much broader bodied. The area also has much larger horseflies although they’re rare in heavily populated areas. The fruit flies are bigger than local species of gnats and invasive “ankle biter” mosquitos but smaller than indigenous mosquitos.

The Mediterranean fruit fly is very tiny — only about 1/4 inch in length…

A quarter of an inch in length??? Maybe fruit flies are smaller here in Canada – if I ever saw one that size in my house I’d be tempted to go full-on carnivore…

The Mediterranean fruit fly is very tiny — only about 1/4 inch in length…

The Mediterranean fruit fly is very tiny — only about 1/4 inch in length…
A quarter of an inch in length??? Maybe fruit flies are smaller here in Canada – if I ever saw one that size in my house I’d be tempted to go full-on carnivore…
I had the same surprised reaction. I live in the USA and the typical fruit flies I’ve seen are maybe 2-3 mm in length. A quarter-inch fruit fly would be a worse pest in some ways, but it also would make them easier to trap/kill. It’s easy to miss an attempt to swat a 2-3mm bug, and visually lose it in flight. A 6-7mm bug, I could follow and smash.
where all the hippies at? theyre culling off an entire species, why does nobody care about fruit flies of a mediterranean extraction?
Hopefully it works. In the early 90s, SoCal was dusted with malathion to control a Mediterranean fruit fly problem and it took over 20 years for suburban wildlife to recover. When I was a kid I remember seeing lizards, frogs, possums, squirrels, etc. But after the spraying… really nothing. Before that, rats were really rare. After, not so much. It was probably around 2005-2010 I started seeing possums and lizards and skunks again. Squirrels only since around 2020. Frogs, still gone. It was so mu
Nature always finds a way. Sterilization and selection is not 100% accurate, sterile male flies are inferior sexual competitors relative to their wild counterparts so effectiveness varies wildly.
It works in a lab, not so much in the wild. There are studies going back to the 70s that have tried this, and you need a huge ratio of sterile to wild flies (ratios in the thousands-to-one) and proper breeding grounds to even make a small (50-70%) impact and if not continued, the population recovers after just a few
This is a very well established proven effective method of insect control in use for 80 years (look up the screwfly) and is used regularly around the world for dozens of species of insect pests now.
You are doing a human ChatGPT routine here – making up stuff that sounds plausible if someone knows nothing about the subject and presenting it with an authoritative tone. But what you wrote is entirely B S.

Hopefully it works. In the early 90s, SoCal was dusted with malathion to control a Mediterranean fruit fly problem and it took over 20 years for suburban wildlife to recover. When I was a kid I remember seeing lizards, frogs, possums, squirrels, etc. But after the spraying… really nothing. Before that, rats were really rare. After, not so much. It was probably around 2005-2010 I started seeing possums and lizards and skunks again. Squirrels only since around 2020. Frogs, still gone. It was so much fun as a kid to go hunting tadpoles in the storm channels. Sad to think the last generation and a half and probably future ones, won’t get to.

Hopefully it works. In the early 90s, SoCal was dusted with malathion to control a Mediterranean fruit fly problem and it took over 20 years for suburban wildlife to recover. When I was a kid I remember seeing lizards, frogs, possums, squirrels, etc. But after the spraying… really nothing. Before that, rats were really rare. After, not so much. It was probably around 2005-2010 I started seeing possums and lizards and skunks again. Squirrels only since around 2020. Frogs, still gone. It was so much fun as a kid to go hunting tadpoles in the storm channels. Sad to think the last generation and a half and probably future ones, won’t get to.
You are making up (or imagining) this claimed devastating long duration effect of the malathion spray. If these devastating changes in the ecosystem lasting 30 years were real you would have no trouble citing reams of links to studies supporting this. But Googling you will find nada. Which is not surprising since the effects of malathion bait spray (molasses like drops) is well understood. It was sprayed at a low application rate, requiring the bait to attrack the Med Fly for effect and malathion breaks dow
Do these fruit flies like a banana?
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