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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

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #08-030
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Informational open house scheduled for April 25; treatment scheduled for April 30

SACRAMENTO, April 21, 2008 — Pheromone-infused twist ties will be applied by ground crews to host plants, trees and fence posts beginning April 30, 2008 in the community of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, where two light brown apple moths have been detected. Moth pheromone, which is odorless and colorless, creates mating disruption by preventing male moths from mating with females. This method is highly specific to the targeted moth population and is not harmful to other organisms.


Fewer than 30 properties are slated for treatment. The properties are northwest of Carpinteria High School and the treatment area extends to the southern boundary of the Los Padres National Forest. 


Residents in the area will receive notices by mail detailing the treatment and inviting them to an informational open house on Friday, April 25, 2008 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Carpinteria Public Library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013. 


The light brown apple moth is native to Australia and is also found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Hawaii.  The range of host plants is broad with hundreds of plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest, including more than 250 crops. It threatens California’s environment by destroying, stunting or deforming young seedlings and damaging new growth in the forest canopy. The moth also feeds on host plants favored by a number of endangered species; spoils the appearance of ornamental plants; and injures citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops.


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 other counties along California’s Central Coast and Bay Area.  Since its detection in February 2007, the Light Brown Apple Moth has been found and quarantines have been enacted in the counties of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Solano and Santa Barbara. Small, isolated infestations detected last year in Los Angeles and Napa counties have already been eradicated. Twist ties were utilized in both counties.


For more information on light brown apple moth, visit or call CDFA’s pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814