Media Contact: Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462
Vallejo, Sherman Oaks are new infested sites
SACRAMENTO – The light brown apple moth, an invasive species native to Australia, has recently been detected in Solano and Los Angeles counties, adding to the nine previously infested Bay Area and Central Coast counties. Single moths were detected in both new counties, and additional arrays of insect traps in both areas have detected no additional moths.
In the vicinity of the newly detected infestations, regulatory actions will be directed at wholesale nurseries, retail nurseries, and community and school gardens. Regulations are enforced in a cooperative effort by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and county agricultural officials. The details are as follows:
Wholesale Nurseries – Wholesale nurseries in the infestation area will be asked to sign compliance agreements stating that they will inspect host plants before shipment and certify that they do not harbor the light brown apple moth.
Retail Nurseries – Retail nurseries will be inspected and, if infested, will be asked to remove infested plants and plant parts and then sign compliance agreements certifying that host plants to be sold are free-from the pest. Discarded plants and plant parts will be double-bagged and taken to landfills.
Community and School Gardens – Host fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower may not be removed from school and community gardens.
CDFA is asking that green waste hauled by landscapers and lawn maintenance services be hauled only to approved locations, such as landfills, compost facilities and biomass facilities.
In addition, CDFA, the USDA and agricultural commissioners are requesting that residents of the infestation zone please not remove any plants or plant parts from their property, including fruit and flowers.
The first detection of light brown apple moth in the Bay Area came on February 27. Trapping and surveying will continue throughout the state to learn the parameters of the infestation.
Light brown apple moth is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Hawaii. It is a threat to agricultural crops as well as our environment and natural habitat, forests, parks and urban landscapes. 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.
The USDA and CDFA have assembled a technical working group comprised of international experts on light brown apple moth to discuss detection and mitigation strategies to safeguard against this potentially damaging pest and prevent its further spread. The two agencies will continue to work together to take the appropriate regulatory action to prevent the spread of this pest in association with the movement of host commodities.