California State Seal

News Release

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 Public Affairs, (916) 930-5509

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #08-009
Print This Release


Single LBAM detected in Carpinteria; Marin twist-tie application to begin March 4

SACRAMENTO  – A single light brown apple moth (LBAM), an invasive pest native to Australia, has been detected in the community of Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County.

The trap that caught the male moth was part of a statewide trapping array deployed to detect any new infested sites as early as possible. The detection triggered increased trapping in the immediate area to determine if additional moths are present.
If additional moths are found in the vicinity, the area would be quarantined to limit the movement of plants, produce, yard waste and related articles from the area.  Additional trapping would be performed to monitor the moth population and eradication efforts would also be planned.

A cooperative eradication program run jointly by CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is already underway to suppress and eradicate infestations in nine counties along California’s Central Coast and Bay Area.

Cold Weather Delays Marin Twist-Tie Applications; Will Begin March 4

Cold weather over the past several weeks has led CDFA officials to adjust the start date for twist-tie application in the San Rafael area of Marin County to March 4.  The pheromone-infused twist ties will hang on trees, plants and fences within approximately 200 meters of sites where moths have been trapped.  The twist ties are designed to saturate the area with the moth pheromone, distracting the male moths and keeping them from finding female moths for mating.  The twist-tie applications are timed to coincide with the emergence of adult moths in order to maximize the effectiveness of the pheromone.  The application had been scheduled to start in February, but colder temperatures are delaying the development and emergence of the adult moths.

The pheromone used in the twist ties is highly specific to the targeted moth population. After approximately 90-120 days, depending on whether traps in the area detect any additional moths, the twist ties will either be removed or replaced.

Twist-tie applications in the San Mateo County communities of Pescadero and Half Moon Bay will begin February 25, as scheduled.  No temperature adjustments are necessary in these areas.  Residents in all treatment areas will be notified in writing in advance of the application and invited to attend an informational open house session in their area for details on the scheduled applications.  Informational open house events remain as scheduled:

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

Since its detection in February 2007, the Light Brown Apple Moth has been found 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 of ornamental plants; and injures citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops.

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


CDFA Protects
Follow CDFA News on Twitter and Facebook
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814