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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, Jay Van Rein, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 , Larry Hawkins, USDA, (916) 930-5509

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #08-006
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Pheromone infused twist ties to be utilized in Half Moon Bay, Pescadero and San Rafael

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are announcing that treatment using pheromone-infused “twist ties” has been scheduled for Light Brown Apple Moth eradication in the communities of Half Moon Bay and Pescadero, in San Mateo County, and San Rafael, in Marin County. The treatments are scheduled to begin February 19 in San Rafael and on February 25 in San Mateo County. Residents in these areas will receive notices by mail detailing the treatment schedule and inviting them to upcoming informational open houses to discuss the program. 

The schedule of informational open houses is as follows:

Marin County
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Coleman Elementary School, Multipurpose Room
800 Belle Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901

San Mateo County
Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Native Sons Hall
112 Stage Road
Pescadero, CA 94060

Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
The Train Depot
110 Higgins Canyon Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Twist tie treatments will occur within approximately 200 meters of known Light Brown Apple Moth infestations. In Half Moon Bay, two areas east of Highway 1, near Highway 92, will be treated. In Pescadero, three areas will be treated along Pescadero Creek Rd., near the intersections of Stage Rd, Pomponio Truck Trail, and Dearborn Park Road.

In Marin County, treatments are scheduled near the intersections of: 
Bret Ave and Du Bois St.
Pomeroy and Canyon Rd
Mcnear and Fernwood Dr
Along Knight Dr near Castlewood
Riviera Dr. and Riviera Pl
East of Point San Pedro Rd near Cantera Way

Twist ties are applied by ground crews to host plants, trees and fence posts in isolated, lightly infested areas. This approach creates mating disruption by dispersing an odorless, moth pheromone in the infested area.  This method is highly specific to the targeted moth population and is not harmful to other organisms. After approximately 90 days, depending on whether traps in the area detect any additional moths, the twist ties will either be removed or replaced.

Since its detection in February 2007, the Light Brown Apple Moth has been detected throughout the central coast region in the counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda and Solano.  CDFA and the USDA continue work on treatment plans for communities within these counties.  Small, isolated infestations detected last year in Los Angeles and Napa counties have already been eradicated. Twist ties were utilized in both counties. 

The Light Brown Apple Moth is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Hawaii.  The range of host plants is broad with more than two-thousand plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest. It threatens California’s environment—including cypress, redwood and oak trees—and the food supply. The pest destroys, stunts or deforms young seedlings; spoils the appearance or ornamental plants; and injures citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops.

For more information on the light brown apple moth, please visit


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
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