Expanded apple moth quarantine

July 31, 2009 1:25:42 PM PDT
New and expanded quarantine boundaries have been established across three Bay Area counties due to the recent detection of the light brown apple moth, state officials announced today.

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There are quarantines prohibiting the movement of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables unless they are free of pests in areas in Contra Costa, Monterey and Solano counties. The light brown apple moth is an insect that state agricultural officials claim feeds on 2,000 hosts including native plants and 250 crops.

A boundary of nearly 16 square miles has been established in the Gonzales area of Monterey County, and nearly 15 square miles in the Fairfield area of Solano County.

In Contra Costa County, an additional 32 square miles was expanded in an already regulated area.

Officials believe the statewide apple moth infestation has grown in density and range this year and has particularly wreaked havoc on berry fields near Watsonville this summer. More than 110,000 moths have been trapped in California, according to officials.

Officials estimated that nearly 3,473 square miles are under quarantine within California. Other areas affected statewide include Hollister in San Benito County, Manteca in San Joaquin, Long Beach in Los Angeles County, and Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County.

For more information on the light brown apple moth, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/lbam.

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