SACRAMENTO – A 1.5 square mile quarantine zone has been established in Long Beach due to an infestation of Diaprepes root weevil, an exotic pest that threatens more than 270 species of plants. This follows an infestation of the pest announced several weeks ago in Newport Beach. It is unknown if the two infestations are related.
To date, Diaprepes root weevils have been detected at 14 locations in Long Beach’s Spinnaker Cove area, just south of Cal State Long Beach. CDFA continues to survey for the pest in Long Beach, in addition to Newport Beach and a number of communities in between.
The quarantine zone, which is in the southeastern corner of Long Beach, has been established to regulate the movement of plants, green waste and soil from the area. Disposal options for green waste are currently being evaluated.
CDFA is also evaluating options for management of the Diaprepes root weevil population. It may take 3 to 5 years to eradicate the pest.
Diaprepes root weevils are native to the Caribbean, have generally infested Florida and have also infested a part of Texas. Adult weevils feed on the leaves of plants and their larvae plunge underground and feed on plant roots. Left unchecked, the pest could damage urban and rural landscaping, the nursery industry, and significant portions of California’s fruit and vegetable output, including citrus, a favorite of the pest.
Diaprepes root weevils are black with distinctive orange, yellow or gray markings on their backs. For more information, please link to CDFA’s web site, www.cdfa.ca.gov, and to report suspicious bugs, please call 1-800-491-1899.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814