Plans to spray the Bay Area with a synthetic pheromone based pesticide was halted on June 19, 2008. A federal quarantine area now stretches over 12 counties and within this area the Calfornia Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) plans to utilize a variety of methods to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) including the use of mating disrupting pheromones, biological controls, sterile insect technologies, and insecticides. We find it concerning (and a potential double standard) that federal quarantine for the LBAM will limit California farmers’ ability to sell fruit, like apples, where similar apples from New Zealand (where the LBAM has thrived for over 100 years) qualify for import into California. At The FruitGuys, we continue to follow this issue and support sustainable options to control this pest.
You can read about and submit comments on the proposed expansion of the CDFA’s LBAM project here.