The California Department of Food and Agriculture has sent more than 1.7 million post cards to California residents asking for their help in detecting Diaprepes Root Weevils, a destructive pest responsible for quarantines in Los Angeles County, Orange County and San Diego County.

The postcards have been sent to targeted zip codes this summer in 29 counties: as far north as Shasta County, and as far south as San Diego County. Zip codes were selected based on conditions similar to those where the root weevil has already been detected: a high volume of new construction and a large number of specimen trees brought in for landscaping purposes. A link to the postcard is featured here: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/pa/pdf/diaprepescardaug06.pdf

Diaprepes root weevils are native to the Caribbean, have generally infested Florida and have also infested a part of Texas. Adult weevils feed on the leaves of plants and their larvae plunge underground and feed on plant roots. Left unchecked, the pest could damage urban and rural landscaping, the nursery industry, and significant portions of California’s fruit and vegetable output, including citrus, a favorite of the pest.

Diaprepes root weevils are black with distinctive orange, yellow or gray markings on their backs. For more information, please link to CDFA’s web site, www.cdfa.ca.gov, and to report suspicious bugs, please call 1-800-491-1899.