An olive fruit fly, considered by entomologists to be the world’s most dangerous olive pest, “has the potential to wipe out entire orchards of olives throughout southern California, if left alone to feed and multiply,” according to Food Center News. The pinhead-sized olive fruit fly was found two years ago in ornamental trees in back yards and highway medians throughout southern California and has since migrated into the San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the State’s US$100m commercial olive industry. California agriculture officials believe the olive fruit fly has been steadily migrating north from Mexico for the last three or four years, “hidden in smuggled shipments of olives or simply flying across the border.”

The report said that olive growers in California are bitter that their industry, which represents just a fraction of the State’s US$30bn-a-year agriculture sector, is not getting the needed Federal and State aid that grape growers have received, for their efforts to combat the glassy-winged sharpshooter.