SACRAMENTO – August 30, 2006 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has scheduled a series of public meetings in Southern California to inform residents about local infestations of the Diaprepes root weevil, a significant pest to both agricultural crops and landscaping plants and trees. This pest has been discovered on a variety of ornamental plants in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.
DIAPREPES ROOT WEEVIL PUBLIC MEETINGS
Newport Beach, Orange County Long Beach, Los Angeles County
In an effort to quickly detect any additional infested sites, CDFA has sent more than 1.7 million postcards to residences and other sites in targeted areas in 29 counties in California, and has distributed fliers and posters to nurseries and other sites in and near infested areas in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The public’s cooperation in detecting these infestations is greatly appreciated. The pest threatens more than 270 plant species including many landscaping plants. Left unchecked, the root weevil infestations could also impact the nursery industry and damage a wide range of California’s agricultural crops.
CDFA is working with local officials to determine the best methods to achieve eradication of this pest based on the kinds of host plants and other conditions at each infested site. Current plans include scheduled treatments of host plants and trees as well as soil in the infested areas. Additional information will be available at the public meetings.
Diaprepes root weevils are native to the Caribbean. The pest has generally infested Florida and has also infested a part of Texas. Adult weevils feed on the leaves of plants, and their larvae plunge underground and feed on plant roots. The larvae can encircle or “girdle” the root systems of trees, cutting off the supply of water and nutrients and eventually killing the host plant.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814