Detections of light brown apple moths in the Long Beach and Los Osos areas have prompted quarantines to contain the spread of the invasive pest.
A total of 16 adult moths have recently been discovered in the Long Beach area of Los Angeles County. Additionally, five adult moths were discovered in the Los Osos area of San Luis Obispo County.
Movement of all nursery stock, cut flowers, host fruits and vegetables are now prohibited within nine square miles of the finds in Los Angeles County and 11 square miles in San Luis Obispo County. Approximately 3,493 square miles are now under regulation within California.
The quarantine applies to residential and public properties as well as plant nurseries, farms and other commercial enterprises. Residents are asked to consume fruits and vegetables from yards and gardens in the area rather than removing them from the property. People who are unsure if they are within the quarantine zone are asked to assume that they are. Maps of the quarantine zones are available at:
The light brown apple moth is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Hawaii. The range of host plants is broad with more than two-thousand plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest, and more than 250 crops. It threatens California’s environment—including cypress and oak trees—by destroying, stunting or deforming young seedlings and damaging new growth in the forest canopy. The moth also feeds on host plants and damages or spoils the appearance of ornamental plants, citrus, grapes, and deciduous fruit tree crops. State and federal agriculture officials are currently developing sterile insect technology to combat the infestation.
For more information on the light brown apple moth, please visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/lbam.