HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – Florida officials announced on Wednesday that sterile flies would be released as a precautionary measure after a stray dog was found with New World screwworm.
The announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The parasitic infestation has plagued the Florida Keys and now has spread to the mainland.
New World screwworm eats the flesh of living animals.
The sterile flies will be released on Friday, January 13th in the Homestead area as a precautionary measure.
“While the dog has been treated and is doing well, there are still a lot of unknowns about the dog’s history and recent locations. Given that Florida’s livestock industry is at stake, this sterile fly release is a precautionary move to ensure we’re doing everything we can to aggressively eradicate the screwworm from Florida,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
New World screwworm was first confirmed in late September on Big Pine Key.
This was the first local detection of screwworm in over 30 years.