Official Pest Report

Official Pest Reports are provided by National Plant Protection Organizations within the NAPPO region. These Pest Reports are intended to comply with the International Plant Protection Convention's Standard on Pest Reporting, endorsed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in March 2002.

Light Brown Apple Moth in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California - United States

Country: United States

Title: Light Brown Apple Moth in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, California - United States

Osama El-Lissy, Director of Emergency Management, (301) 734-5459

Report: The purpose of this official pest report is to provide notification that on March 16, 2007, an outbreak of light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana, was positively confirmed in adjacent areas of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, California. Confirmation of this outbreak was made through diagnostic testing by the Agricultural Research Service’s Systematic Entomology Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

APHIS is currently cooperating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and local county agricultural commissioners to carry out a LBAM delimiting survey in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. These survey activities were initiated in response to a February 6, 2007 report from a private citizen, near Berkley in Alameda County, indicating that two suspect moths were captured in a blacklight trap on his property. Pheromone-baited traps were placed on March 1, 2007, in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and weekly inspections began March 7, 2007. All subsequent LBAM detections have occurred in urban areas within approximately 7 ½ miles of the original detections.

On March 15, 2007, APHIS convened a technical working group of experts to discuss survey and control strategies in response to LBAM. This group will continue to meet on a regular basis to address this developing situation and consider mitigation strategies.

LBAM is native to Australia and is found in New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Hawaii. The host range for LBAM is broad, with over 250 plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest. The major domestic hosts of concern are stone fruit (cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots), pip fruit (apples and pears), grapes, and citrus.

LBAM, if left unchecked, has the potential to cause significant economic losses to California due to increased production costs and the possible loss of international and domestic export markets. However, these impacts can be effectively mitigated through production-level management practices.

This pest is currently considered to be transient: actionable and under surveillance. Regulatory strategies are being developed.

Posted Date: March 22, 2007, 9 a.m.