A light brown apple moth (LBAM) has been trapped in a lemon grove in Bonsall, Calif., in San Diego County.
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.
The find will be discussed at an informational meeting next Tuesday at 3 p.m., at the San Diego County Farm Bureau offices in Escondido, Calif.
“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. It has prompted quarantines in parts of 16 Northern California counties.
The LBAM is native to Australia and 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.