18 square miles of San Diego County have come under quarantine for the agricultural pest, light brown apple moth (LBAM). Effective May 20, 2013, portions of the City of Oceanside and the surrounding area have been added to areas of California under quarantine for LBAM, a destructive insect that feeds on over 250 different types of plants and produce. Nineteen counties are currently part of the state interior quarantine, totaling more than 6,000 square miles.
“We are asking the cooperation of homeowners, growers, and the business community in abiding by the requirements of the LBAM quarantine to protect San Diego’s agricultural and environmental sustainability" says San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner Ha Dang. "Working together we can limit the spread of this pest and see a timely end to the quarantine.”
The emergency regulatory action that established the quarantine in San Diego County was prompted by four male moths found within three miles of each other and is expected to last until approximately September 20, 2013. This date may be extended in the event of more finds. The quarantine boundaries are: Camp Pendleton on the north side, Sleeping Indian Road on the east side, State Route 76 on the south side and Faussat Road on the west side. To determine if you are inside or outside of the quarantine area, you can check here: LBAM Quarantine Map for the Oceanside area (You can zoom in to find street names.)
The Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures will be holding two meetings to discuss the state interior quarantine with growers. Officials from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture will be present and available to answer questions.
The meetings will be held:
Thursday, May 23 from 10-11:30 am at the San Marcos Community Center- 3 Civic Center Drive San Marcos, CA
Friday, May 24 from 1:00- 2:30 pm at the Fallbrook Community Center's Auditorium- 341 Heald Ln Fallbrook, CA
LBAM is native to Australia and is also found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Hawaii. A broad range of crops are susceptible to attack by this pest, including avocado, citrus, peaches, and grapes. The moth also spoils the appearance of ornamental plants and can be inadvertently spread by the movement of ornamental plants. The county and state’s natural environment and native oaks would also be threatened if LBAM became established.
Under the quarantine, the movement of all ornamental plants, cut flowers, and most fruits and vegetables is prohibited within or from the quarantine area unless it is certified as “LBAM free” by an agricultural official; is purchased at a retail outlet; or was produced outside the area.
The quarantine applies to residential and public properties as well as plant nurseries, farms, and other commercial enterprises. Residents living in the 18 square mile quarantined area are asked to consume fruits and vegetables from yards and gardens rather than moving them from the area. Landscapers and yard maintenance companies will be among businesses placed under compliance agreements to ensure proper disposal of yard waste.
For more information please visit our LBAM Quarantine page or call (760) 752-4700.