Media Contact: Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462
Detections in Alameda and Contra Costa counties
SACRAMENTO, Thursday, March 22, 2007 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are announcing the detection of a pest known as light brown apple moth. The announcement follows lab confirmation by entomologists with CDFA, and then supporting confirmation by USDA scientists.
There are increased trapping activities for the pest in areas surrounding the initial detections in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The increased trapping is being conducted in cooperation with agricultural commissioners in both counties.
Light brown apple moth is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Hawaii. The range of host plants is broad with more than 250 plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest. Major domestic hosts of concern are stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries and apricots), apples, pears, grapes and citrus.
The pest destroys, stunts or deforms young seedlings; spoils the appearance of ornamental plants; and injures deciduous fruit-tree crops, citrus and grapes.
USDA and CDFA have assembled a technical working group comprised of international experts on light brown apple moth to discuss survey and mitigation strategies to safeguard against this potentially damaging pest and prevent its further spread. The two agencies will be working together to take the appropriate regulatory action to prevent the spread of this pest in association with the movement of host commodities.