Did You Know Northern California Is At War & Under Quarantine ?

Despite officials in both San Francisco and Berkeley promising stronger efforts to pursue & convict those who commit “Quality of Life” life crimes, and the federal gov’t imposing tougher deportation measures on illegal immigrants, one of the most dangerous threats to California’s citizenery remains relatively obscure.

We’ve all heard the media warnings of various Middle Eastern terrorists, not to mention Russian/Asian/Mexican and South American drug cartels & gangs coming across borders to reek mayhem, but few seem aware of the latest uninvited light brown guests from Australia & New Zealand that have hit California this year. Officials have logged almost 4,000 sightings of these destructive and deadly invaders, and there’s surprisingly little panic in the streets. State officials have put out an APB and are asking all citizens to be on the lookout, to immediately report any sightings, and some go as far as to suggest you kill on sight if you must to detain the suspect.

I’m talking about the Light Brown Apple Moth, who made his US debut right here in the San Francisco Bay Area, click here to see the PDF map. 80 percent of the moths trapped have been in Santa Cruz County, but the first sighting occurred in February in the Berkeley backyard of a retired entomologist.
apple moth.jpg
It’s apparently a real menace to us all, with capability to produce three generations a year with an unparalleled appetite for foliage of all sorts. The state’s agriculture industry faces $100’s of millions in losses if this interloper gets a more serious foothold in the agricultural zones of the Central Valley, and already nursery stock & cut flowers from 8 Bay Area & Northern California counties are quarantined and not allowed to ship interstate.

More photos, and info and even what you can do, about this perplexing problem after the jump…

The quarantined counties are Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Marin but last month one of the buggers turned up in Napa as well.

The Light Brown Apple Moth doesn’t just like Apples, and could prove troublesome for wineries who are already battling the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter.

The LABM as officials have abbreviated it, has also been found feasting on over 200 plants in 120 plant genera including trees like pear, peach, apricot, nectarine, citrus, persimmon, cherry, almond, avocado, oak, willow, walnut, poplar, cottonwood, coast redwood, pine, and eucalyptus. For an appetizer he also digs common shrubs and herbaceous hosts like grapes, kiwifruit, strawberry, berries (blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, raspberry), corn, pepper, tomato, pumpkin, beans, cabbage, carrot, alfalfa, rose, camellia, jasmine, chrysanthemum, clover, and plantain.

A 9 member panel of officials, including international scientists are mulling interdiction methods that include phermone based traps, releasing sterile moths, and certain pesticides. After the panel issues it’s recommendations, of course begging for federal money to fight this new war is next.

Know Your Enemy, Be on The Lookout Folks :

Officials ask that you please dispose of green waste in an approved green waste bin provided by your county.If you see one of these moths around here, contact Lawrence Pong at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

1390 Market St., Suite 210
San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 252-3830 (Agriculture)
FAX: (415) 252-3869

Lawrence.Pong@sfdph.org (Agriculture)

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