Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

First light brown apple moth found in county - Treatment being applied, no quarantine area needed for now

SAN DIEGO – Residents are being asked to report any sightings of the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), which was discovered in a trap located in a lemon grove in Bonsall.

The find prompted California Department of Food and Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to place additional traps in the area. A quarantine will be triggered if a second LBAM is found.

“Our goal is to determine if there is more than one Light Brown Apple Moth in the area,” said Robert Atkins, County Agricultural Commissioner. “Hopefully, this is a lone stray.”

The LBAM caterpillar damages the plant by feeding on its leaves, buds, shoots and fruit. The greatest damage comes from larvae feeding on the fruit causing brown areas on the fruit’s surface.

The LBAM is native to Australia and has been found throughout California. The moth is suspected of feeding on more than 2,000 plants and at least 250 crops.

Hosts include fruits like apples, blueberry, peach, pear, strawberry, grapes, citrus; broadleaved weeds, like plantains; vegetables, including cabbage, corn, pepper, tomatoes.

It also is found on trees, including oak, willow, poplar, walnut; and ornamentals, such as roses, chrysanthemums and dahlias.

A meeting for local growers regarding the LBAM is planned for the week of March 22. More information about this meeting will be posted at

Anyone who suspects they have Light Brown Apple Moth on any of their plants or trees should call the CDFA PEST HOTLINE at (800) 491-1899 or (619) 698-1046.

For more information, visit the CDFA at

To request having traps placed on their property, homeowners can call (800) 300-8727 (TRAP).


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