Much of Mid-City was quarantined and traps such as this were hung after officials found an Australian light brown apple moth.
  • Much of Mid-City was quarantined and traps such as this were hung after officials found an Australian light brown apple moth.
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In September 2010, the California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantined a portion of San Diego County when the light brown apple moth was found one mile east of Balboa Park.

The pest, native to Australia and found in New Zealand and Hawaii, has no natural predators and feeds on the leaves, buds, and shoots of vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, and other trees. The moth is invasive and known to feast on at least 2000 plants and 250 crops, but "Their greatest damage comes from larvae feeding on the fruit, causing brown areas on the fruit's surface," according to San Diego County's Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, website.

The quarantine covers an area of ten square miles, bounded by El Cajon Boulevard on the north, Chollas Parkway on the east, Market Street on the south, and Park Boulevard on the west.

Last month, one moth was found just east of the Sweetwater Reservoir, and traps were hung in trees to capture the insect. It appears, however, that the quarantine area has been expanded: the trap in this picture is in Normal Heights, nine blocks north of El Cajon Boulevard.

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RobertW April 8, 2011 @ 11:02 a.m.

THE LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH (LBAM) IS NO MORE OF A THREAT TO AGRICULTURE THAN THE WIND.

The entomologist who first noticed it in California in July 2006, three courts who evaluated it, the state senate committee on agriculture all determined that the moth is a NON-ISSUE to agriculture.

Only the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA), the USDA, and the chemical companies who stood to rob the taxpayers of $100 Million per year for unnecessary "Emergency" pesticide contracts for 30 years are keeping this propaganda about LBAM alive.

In Northern Coastal California, these false "Emergency" claims about LBAM were finally uncovered and CDFA had to stop the insanity there. But to continue to rob taxpayers, CDFA & USDA are now pulling the same scam down the coast in San Diego and up in OREGON, where people simply aren't familiar with the truth about this moth and this fraudulent program. The quarantines and interference with farming are very real, but they are caused by CDFA & USDA, not LBAM.

Contact any/every agriculture commissioner in the State of California and you will find: NO DOCUMENTED DAMAGE FROM LBAM. Media reports of damage are taken from false information given to the media by the CDFA & USDA. Reporters that contacted the agriculture commissioners found out the damage reports were FALSE.

LBAM has been in California for over 50 years now, not a recent arrival (about 10 years) as CDFA preaches, but either way, NO DAMAGE, NONE. Check for yourself!

LBAM has been in Hawaii for 100 years and NO DAMAGE.

Santa Cruz and San Francisco Counties have millions of LBAM, with tens of thousands being trapped, and NO DAMAGE.

  • Two Berkeley Professors determined that LBAM can only develop populations in a couple Northern coastal areas in California. Other places where LBAM gets transported are not suitable for their populations to establish & sustain.

  • A few moths cannot initiate permanent populations places they are not suited for. Even the permanent populations in Central Coast, California and San Francisco Bay California are harmless to Agriculture, backyard gardens and forests.

  • CDFA and USDA in some areas pretend that their quarantine and forced pesticide measures "Eradicated" the moth when doing nothing would have the same results without the toxins and the money spent.

Suzanne Ledeboer, reporter - make a few phone calls to agriculture commissioners in California where LBAM lives and learn the truth. The sky is NOT falling, but if you continue to spread the false rumors given to you by CDFA and your local agriculture commissioner who is obligated to the CDFA, SD taxpayers will spend the $$$ and farmers will suffer the sacrifices as though the sky were falling. Again, LBAM does NOT cause damage to Agriculture in California.

See a Professor's Press Release on the Fraud of the CDFA/USDA LBAM program at: http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/76798

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