News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 or
Release #09-016
Plant Movement Restricted for Nurseries, Farms and Homes in Sonoma, Santa Clara Counties
SACRAMENTO – New boundaries will quarantine plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables grown in Sonoma and Santa Clara counties due to recent Light Brown Apple Moth detections.

A new quarantine of approximately 18 square miles is now established in the Sebastopol area of Sonoma County while an existing quarantine in the Milpitas area of Santa Clara County increases by approximately 64 square miles.

Approximately 2,414 square miles are now under quarantine within California. State and federal quarantine regulations prohibit the movement of all nursery stock, all cut flowers, and all host fruits and vegetables and plant parts within or from the quarantined area unless it is certified as free from the pest by an agricultural official; is purchased at a retail outlet; or was produced outside the area and is passing through in accordance with accepted safeguards. Additionally, federal regulations apply to host commodities from the entire county if the commodities are moving interstate.

The quarantine applies to residential and public properties as well as plant nurseries, farms and other commercial enterprises.  Residents are asked to consume fruits and vegetables from yards and gardens in the area rather than removing them from the property.  Landscapers and yard maintenance companies will be among the businesses placed under compliance agreements to ensure that yard waste is disposed of properly.  People who are unsure if they are within the quarantine zone are asked to assume that they are. Maps of the quarantine zones are available at:

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, and more than 250 crops. It threatens California’s environment—including cypress and oak trees—by destroying, stunting or deforming young seedlings and damaging new growth in the forest canopy. The moth also feeds on host plants and damages or spoils the appearance of ornamental plants, citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops.  State and federal agriculture officials are currently developing sterile insect technology to combat the infestation.

For more information on the Light Brown Apple Moth, please visit


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