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The California Department of Food and Agriculture says the first “light brown apple moth” (Epiphyas postvittana) to appear in San Diego has been trapped in a Bonsall lemon grove.

According to a press release, residents are being asked to report any sightings of the moth because a quarantine will be triggered if a second one is found.

"Our goal is to determine if there is more than one light brown apple moth in the area," said county agricultural commissioner Robert Atkins. "Hopefully, this is a lone stray."

The apple moth caterpillar damages fruit, vegetables, and trees by feeding on leaves, buds, and shoots. The greatest damage comes from larvae feeding on the fruit, causing brown areas on the fruit's surface.

A native of Australia, the moth has been found throughout California and is suspected of feeding on more than 2000 plants and 250 crops. Hosts include apples, blueberries, peaches, pears, strawberries, grapes, and citrus fruit, cabbage, corn, peppers, and tomatoes. They are also found on oak, willow, poplar, and walnut trees, roses, chrysanthemums, and dahlias.

A meeting for local growers regarding the moth is planned for the week of March 22.

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RobertW March 11, 2010 @ 10:40 p.m.

THE CDFA LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH (LBAM) PROGRAM IS A FRAUD FOR MONEY.

Over the last 4 years, scientists have had time to conclude their research:

  1. The moth is not dangerous to crops in California any more than thousands of other moths & insects that live in California.

  2. LBAM has caused no damage in California, even though the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) falsely reported damage to the media for three years now and unfortunately decent trusting people innocently repeat the false messages of danger.

  3. CDFA top management do this program for about $100 Million of our taxpayer dollars every year for their agency & then they deliver the $$ to privileged insiders at large chemical corporations in the form of contracts for unnecessary pesticides.

  4. CDFA intends to stretch the program to decades, not just the seven years that they advertise.

  5. The moth is not even suited to Bonsall, only a few counties along the Northern California coast and there it is living nicely and not damaging anything.

  6. The quarantines and inspections and use of expensive pesticides forced onto farmers is the real problem while CDFA fakes the threat to keep the program (and $$) going.

  7. Check with the top Agriculture Scientists at UC Davis. They know the truth, but they don't yet have the political clout to get these top management guys at CDFA put in prison for what they are doing.

  8. If you are interested, download Chapter #3 "Agricultural / Horticultural Resources and Economics" on the DRAFT EIR for the Light Brown Apple Moth Program on the CDFA website or at http://www.lbamspray.com/ and read in Chapter #3, page 3-20, lines 5,6 and page 3-21, lines 3,4 below table 3-16. You will see that CDFA actually admits that all the LBAM crop damage reports that they have delivered to the media for three years now were false.
    "NO CROP DAMAGE" in California, by the Light Brown Apple Moth.

The reason CDFA puts the truth in the Draft EIR is because a judge will likely review it, but judges don't review media articles so CDFA continues to lie to the public and then unfortunately unknowing decent people hear the lies and further spread those lies.

Go visit Santa Cruz and San Francisco counties where LBAM populations are large. But that is in Entomology terms. Most people have never even seen one. They are barely one-quarter inch long. If they weren't in the news, no one would even know they are in California. They look and act identically to other tortricidae moths that are native to California and that is why LBAM is nearly a non-issue …but not for CDFA to fake an emergency and steal our $$.

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Ken Harrison March 13, 2010 @ 12:13 a.m.

Wow Robert, you know a little too much about moths and the CDFA. But I believe you!

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Tom1950 March 14, 2010 @ 9:56 p.m.

Hey Califcomedy, Don't be too impressed with Robert - nearly all his 'facts' are wrong. This guy goes to any site that mentions LBAM and copies and pastes the same lies and damn lies. All he is doing is spreading fear. I only wish all the farmers who have lost their crops to LBAM could send him a bill for their loss. And that we could all send him a bill for the higher cost of produce we are buying. AND for the medical bills for the cancer we will be getting for the increased use of pesticides that your neighbors will be using in their yards because of this moths. His lies aren't going to change those facts.

It’s because of him and people like him spraying of a pheromone that didn’t even hurt the moth, but would have disrupted their mating and wiped them out, was stopped. Now the moth is quickly infesting every corner of California causing millions in crop damage.

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