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Pest Detection Program

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The Pest Detection program looks for exotic insects in over 9,000 traps that are placed in residential yards throughout the County for this purpose.  Public participation is particularly critical to the success of this program, since staff relies on the goodwill of property owners who allow traps to be placed on their properties.  These traps are placed free of charge and moved to new sites every six weeks so that many areas can be monitored for fruit flies and other pests.  At any given time, up to 12 properties per square mile are being monitored for insect pests.  If established, pests such as the Mexican fruit fly, Mediterranean fruit fly, or Gypsy moth would cause economic damage to both residential plantings and agricultural crops.  This program is largely
funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Early detection allows eradication efforts to begin before pests multiply and spread, becoming economically and technically impossible to control.  AWM staff visit each property weekly or biweekly depending on the type of traps placed on the property.  Trap inspection usually takes between 3-5 minutes without disruption to the property owner/occupant.  Homeowners are not restricted in the use of their fruit or care of their trees while traps are present. 

Typical trapping sites contain any fruit tree with ripe or ripening fruit present.  Shade trees within 30 feet of fruit trees may also have traps placed in them.  Other trap hosts may include roses, turf and landscape ornamental plants.

If you are interested in having traps placed on your property to help in the fight against pests, contact us through e-mail at  AWM.pd@sdcounty.ca.gov  or phone toll free 1-800-300-TRAP (8727) or (858) 614-7770

Download an informational brochure