SAN DIEGO–Four adult Light Brown Apple Moths (LBAM), a pest that damages more than 2,000 types of plants and more than 250 types of crops, have been discovered in a trap set one mile east of San Diego’s Balboa Park, County officials said Tuesday.
The discovery will trigger a state “interior” quarantine of 1.5 miles around the site as early as next week, and a subsequent federal quarantine that could cover the rest of the county. Quarantines generally mean that plant material cannot be moved until the quarantines end.
“Additional traps have been placed in the nine square miles surrounding the find site,” said County Agricultural Commissioner Robert Atkins, “We need to determine the extent of this infestation.”
An informational meeting for San Diego County farmers and growers will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Fallbrook Community Center, located at 341 Heald Lane in Fallbrook. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in conjunction with United States Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA) have placed additional traps around the find site. Atkins said the public could help by not moving any plants or produce and by allowing traps to be placed on their property.
Light Brown Apple Moth larvae damage fruit by feeding on them, creating brown areas on the fruits’ surface. Additionally, LBAM caterpillars damage plants by feeding on leaves, buds, shoots and fruit. The moth eats fruits and vegetables such as apple, blueberry, peach, pear, strawberry, grape, cabbage, corn, pepper, and tomato. It also is found on trees, including oak, willow, poplar, walnut; and ornamentals, such as rose, chrysanthemum and dahlia. The insect is native to Australia and has been found in other areas of California.
When available, Information regarding quarantine boundaries will be posted at www.sdcawm.org. If you suspect Light Brown Apple Moth on any of your plants or trees, call the CDFA PEST HOTLINE at 1-800-491-1899 or 619-698-1046.
For more information on LBAM, visit the CDFA website at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/pdep/lbam/lbam_main.html. To volunteer your location for our trapping program, call 1-800-300-8727 (TRAP).