Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Viva La LBAM!

According to this press release, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has just instituted a quarantine zone covering almost 200 square miles in an effort to combat the spread of the light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana). The Australian moth, which was first discovered in California last month, is known to have caterpillars that feed on more than 250 different plant species, including, as it name suggests, apple and other trees in the rose family (peaches, plums, cherries and more). The quarantine covers the movement of any nursery stock and all fruits and veggies from areas including Marin County, Santa Clara County, and parts of San Francisco, and is expected to expand based on recent discoveries of new infestations. The CDFA has detailed maps (.pdf) of the quarantine regions but I can't seem to find a nice statewide map showing the spread.

Thanks to Michael K. for sending in a link to this story.


Spencer Lindsay said...

I'm guessing that this will be read by at least on Entomologist and hopefully by someone who has solid experience with the LBAM.

How much of a problem is the LBAM? Australia and New Zealand have thriving agricultural exports and the species has been there for well over a hundred years. Looking online for evidence that the LBAM has decimated crops, I've come up empty.

Anyone have experience with this pest?

Anonymous said...

LBAM has not decimated any crops - nationally or internationally. In fact, some organic farmers has said it has been in California for years. LBAM is a leaf roller and may damage some ornamental plants in the nursery industry but does minimal cosmetic damage to some fruits.

Spencer Lindsay said...

I'd be interested to know where that info comes from. We have a radio program and I hate getting proved wrong.. got any proof either way? Anyone?


Anonymous said...

I have done HOURS of research on this little pest, and the real threat is simply that the CA ag industry has been put on quarantine, and therefore, nothing can be exported from the area. A real threat to our economy. Go to the CDFA website link:

melmiana said...

I live in Pacific Grove. The spraying last night was intense and quite invasive. Dispite closing all windows last night, I woke up with a nasty sore throat, watery eyes, and a bad, chemical tast in my mouth. Many neighbors and friends complained about similar effects from pesticide spraying.

This spraying makes absolutley no sense as the moth has not been found in PG, nor are there any ornamental nurserys affected. By the way, this 'emergency' has been led by the nursery industry NOT the ag/food. LBAM does minimal surface damage to some stone crops and is basically a 'leaf'roller' - thus affecting the ornamental plants to sell.

Twist-tie and local (ground application) of pheromones is being done throughout the state and seems to be successfull. Check out the cdfa web site.

Finally, follow the money trail when actions seem inappropriate with facts. The state of CA received 15M from the feds for this 'emergency'. Additionally, CA state officials just passed SB 556 which allocated more money for this project.

Alot of work is being done at a grass roots level to educate the public and stop the next scheduled aerial spraying in October.

John said...

The California Department of Food and Agriculture seem intent on spraying the people of California with experimental pesticides to combat this moth. DESPITE THE EVIDENCE IT IS NOT A MAJOR THREAT!

Sign the petition to stop the fumigation of citizens without their consent at