Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

County Hopes To Kill Moths With Confusion

Audio

Agricultural officials met with San Diegans Wednesday night to discuss the effects of a state quarantine to prevent the spread of light brown apple moths. The quarantined area includes North Park, South Park, Golden Hill and City Heights.

— Agricultural officials met with San Diegans Wednesday night to discuss the effects of a state quarantine to prevent the spread of light brown apple moths. The quarantined area includes North Park, South Park, Golden Hill and City Heights.

The state’s quarantine will help keep light brown apple moths from leaving the area where some were found in County traps a little over a month ago. Now, officials want to make sure the moths just die out instead of reproducing.

To do that, they will fill trees and shrubs in neighborhoods east of Balboa Park with twist ties soaked with female moth pheromone. County Entomologist David Kellum says humans can’t detect the scent but it will throw male moths off the trail of any potential mates.

“This way the males are so confused they have –- the scent is everywhere and they can’t pinpoint the females so they can’t find the female," he said. "And, eventually they end up dying without mating.”

The tiny moths feed on the leaves and fruit of more than 100 plants, and can wreak havoc for farmers. A federal quarantine that could affect the entire county is still pending.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.