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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 #08-031
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Treatment to begin May 5th in the areas of Cupertino, Sunnyvale and San Jose

SACRAMENTO, April 24, 2008 — Beginning May 5, 2008, pheromone-infused twist ties will be used to eradicate the light brown apple moth within the communities of Cupertino, Sunnyvale and San Jose. To date, a total of 45 moths have been detected throughout Santa Clara County.  Moth pheromone, which is odorless and colorless, creates mating disruption by preventing male moths from locating females. This method is highly specific to the targeted moth population and is not harmful to other organisms.

Twist ties will be applied within a 200-meter radius covering 27.12 square miles around the following sites:
• South of E. Fremont Avenue around the intersections of Ashbourne Drive and Flicker Way
• North of Highway 82 around the streets of South Frances, S Murphy Avenue and S Sunnyvale Avenue
• Along Stevens Creek Blvd around Mary Avenue and Anton Way, including a portion of De Anza College and Memorial Park
• South of 280 along North Sterling Road around the intersections of Flora Vista Avenue and Greenleaf Drive
• North of 280 around the intersection of Casa View Drive. and Capistrano Avenue
• East of Lawrence Expressway around the intersection of Brenton Avenue and Englewood Drive

Maps may be found at:

Residents in the area will receive notices detailing the treatment and inviting them to an informational open house on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Joaquin Miller Middle School, 6151 Rainbow Drive, San Jose, CA 95129.

Additionally, a second light brown apple moth has been detected in Sonoma County, in close enough proximity to a moth found in February to trigger quarantine regulations, which are currently being prepared. Based on what is currently known about the infestation, the typical response would be that twist ties would be used for eradication. More information will be known in coming weeks.  

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. A quarantine is pending in Sonoma County. 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