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Light brown apple moth found in Stockton, Manteca neighborhoods

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POSTED April 2, 2010 2:49 a.m.

STOCKTON – The San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office detected a second light brown apple moth in the Stockton area on February 19 in a residential area on Alice Street. This moth was found within 1 ½ miles of an initial moth find detected on Feb. 9 on E. Third Street.

In response to the second light brown apple moth (LBAM) find in Stockton, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) established a quarantine area around the two finds. The purpose of the quarantine is to prevent further spread of light brown apple moth by controlling the movement of plant material that could carry LBAM outside of the quarantine area.
The destructive moth was previously confirmed as reproducing in the two Manteca neighborhoods.

The confirmatious were made in the 100 block of Marie Avenue and on Wawona Street at Dill Way.

The CDFA established quarantine areas in the two places in Manteca. They put in place an average of 30 to 40 Isomate-coated twist ties in yards during mid-December in a bid to stop the spread of the devastating pest.

The twist ties – which resemble those used for garbage bags but contain an odorless, synthetic insect sexual attractant that confuses the male light brown apple moth and impairs its ability to find a mate – will be tied to trees and bushes in the front and back yards of homes within about a 250-yard radius of the confirmed find of reproducing light brown apple moths.

The Wawona treatment area is generally bounded on the west by El Portal Avenue, to the north at a point midway between Wawona and El Dorado Street, on the east by Locust Avenue, and on the south by Swan Drive.

The Marie Avenue treatment area is generally bounded by Sheridan Avenue on the west, North Street on the north, Mylnar Avenue on the east, and Bristow Street in the Curran Grove neighborhood on the south.

Even though there are a number of homes and businesses in the Stockton quarantine area, Agricultural Commissioner Scott Hudson says the public will likely hardly notice they are in a quarantine area.   

“Our staff will be in the area to place and check additional pest traps, and we do ask that residents of the quarantined area consume any homegrown produce on-site during the quarantine to minimize any risk of spreading the pest,” Hudson said.  “Otherwise, the public likely will not notice the impact of the quarantine.”

Hudson says, though, that the quarantine will impact growers.  However, the LBAM containment efforts do allow for the movement of all the harvested crops in that area. County agricultural staff will work with growers and other impacted businesses in the quarantine area to establish compliance agreements ensuring that their products are pest free.

In October, an infestation area was also found in the Tracy area.

Light brown apple moth is native to Australia and the larvae feeds on more than 250 host plants, including many residential ornamental plants and commercial agricultural crops.

Additional detection traps have been deployed surrounding the second moth find to further delimit the infestation. For more information about the light brown apple moth quarantine project and eradication efforts, call the CDFA toll free pest hotline at (800) 491-1899.

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