As state officials press on with eradication plans to rid California of the light brown apple moth, the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program has produced a new publication to answer the public's questions.
To date, the moth has been found in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Solano counties. Because it likes to eat more than 250 plant species, including grapes and other key crops, state and federal governments have begun an eradication campaign.
The publication answers questions about how to identify the moth, its biology, management alternatives and regulation, and possible impacts on California commodities and residential areas. Authored by nine UC scientists and reviewed by experts from across the U.S., and from Australia and New Zealand, the publication was developed quickly to fill an immediate need for information.
The moth, a native of Australia, had never before been found in North America until it was identified in the San Francisco Bay area in February. It could damage grapes, apples, pears, and stone fruits, as well as a number of ornamental plant species.
Nursery products are especially vulnerable because many are shipped outside the affected counties to other states and on the international market. U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have interstate and intrastate quarantines in effect.
Keeping the pest from spreading to other areas of the state is critical, and this will be accomplished by regular monitoring with traps, inspection, treatment of infested nursery stock or other commodities, and destruction of green waste.
To download a free copy of “Light Brown Apple Moth: Quarantine, Management, and Potential Impacts,” go to http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/.