BRIDGEPORT, Wash. – Apples Governor Jay Inslee brought to Omak last week have tested positive for apple maggot larvae.
The Chelan-Douglas Horticultural Pests and Diseases Commission is now seeking to contact anyone who may be able to help locate these apples, which have also been brought to the towns of Malden and Bridgeport.
“Apple maggots are an incredibly serious pest and could have dire consequences for orchards in Douglas County if we fail to find infected apples and mitigate the effects immediately,” said manager Will Carpenter.
The crispy apples with honey came from the governor’s house in Olympia. Thurston County is currently an Apple Maggot Quarantine Zone, but Douglas County is not. The Department of Agriculture alerted the governor’s office that it was illegal to transport apples from fly-infested West Washington to fly-free areas.
Signs are posted along the road to inform motorists of the fruit quarantine. Technically, breaking the quarantine is a misdemeanor and punishable by 90 days in prison and a fine of $ 1,000, but the Department of Agriculture is not pursuing criminal penalties.
“Douglas County orchards, regulators and processors have worked tirelessly to ensure our region remains free from apple flies and this event could have serious implications for the region. It is of the utmost importance that these apples are immediately and safely disposed of, ”Carpenter said.
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