March 10, 2010
Residents are being asked to report any sightings of the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), which was discovered in a trap located in a lemon grove in Bonsall.
The find prompted California Department of Food and Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to place additional traps in the area. A quarantine will be triggered if a second LBAM is found.
“Our goal is to determine if there is more than one Light Brown Apple Moth in the area,” said Robert Atkins, County Agricultural Commissioner. “Hopefully, this is a lone stray.”
The LBAM caterpillar damages the plant by feeding on its leaves, buds, shoots and fruit. The greatest damage comes from larvae feeding on the fruit causing brown areas on the fruit’s surface.
The LBAM is native to Australia and has been found throughout California. The moth is suspected of feeding on more than 2,000 plants and at least 250 crops. Hosts include fruits like apples, blueberry, peach, pear, strawberry, grapes, citrus; broadleaved weeds, like plantains; vegetables, including cabbage, corn, pepper, tomatoes. It also is found on trees, including oak, willow, poplar, walnut; and ornamentals, such as roses, chrysanthemums and dahlias.
A meeting for local growers regarding the LBAM is planned for the week of March 22. More information about this meeting will be posted on the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Web site.
If you suspect you have Light Brown Apple Moth on any of your plants or trees, please call the CDFA PEST HOTLINE at 1-800-491-1899 or 619-698-1046. For more information and pictures of the moth in various development stages, visit the CDFA Light Brown Apple Moth Web page.
To request having traps placed on your property, call 1-800-300-8727 (TRAP).
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