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Invasive Moth Worries County Farmers

Pest Could Devour County’s Agricultural Economy

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Farmers in San Diego County are hoping that agricultural officials come up empty when inspecting traps for an invasive pest. The insect could have a serious impact on local farmers.

Farmers in San Diego County are hoping that agricultural officials come up empty when inspecting traps for an invasive pest. The insect could have a serious impact on local farmers.

Officials are checking traps to determine if the light brown apple moth has spread from where the pest was found last week in San Diego. The moth feeds on leaves and fruit.

Janet Kister is the co-owner of Sunlet Nursery in Fallbrook, which grows indoor flowering and selected foliage plants.

Kister, along with other county farmers, is waiting to see what turns up in traps.

"We're hoping that when they do the inspections on the traps that they don't find any more," said Kister. "They could've just been hitchhikers that came from with whatever product they came in on."

Nursery crops like Kister's account for about two-thirds of San Diego County's $1.5 billion agriculture industry.

Agricultural officials are holding a meeting next Tuesday in Fallbrook to talk to farmers about a potential county-wide quarantine.

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