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County Hopes To Kill Moths With Confusion

Audio

Aired 9/2/10

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 restricts the movement of plants and produce with a 1.5 mile radius of sites where moths were found in county traps.
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Above: The state's quarantine restricts the movement of plants and produce with a 1.5 mile radius of sites where moths were found in county traps.

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.

Comments

Avatar for user 'StanRoller'

StanRoller | September 2, 2010 at 10:15 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

There is NO THREAT caused by the LBAM ANYWHERE it is found in the world. The moth has been in the state for decades and has, by CDFA's own admission in their EIR, NOT CAUSED ANY DAMAGE in the state. The moth was misclassified decades ago and the USDA and CDFA refuse to respect modern research and knowledge regarding the real threat of this innocuous insect. In New Zealand, where it has been found for more then 100 years (this is true also for Hawaii, the UK, and everywhere it is native or has been introduced) farmers are required to provide only LBAM-free produce if they intend to export to the US. New Zealand farmers are not subject to quarantines, do not have to have LBAM-free farms, and the government helps these farmers with useful information on control. Our CDFA and USDA are not there to help just prevent farmers from doing their jobs and imposing restrictions. LBAM is easy to control with organic IPM methods.

The ONLY threat of LBAM is the inspections and draconian quarantines imposed on our farmers and the violation of our farms and businesses by the CDFA/USDA. The media and agricultural commissioners have not acted responsibly and need to check the misinformation they promulgate as facts regarding the LBAM and the eradication program.

Be aware that the mating disruption hormones are synthetic chemicals and are used to reduce the number of LBAM have never had efficacy tests completed in any setting outside of agriculture. The CDFA do not know if these substances will even work. These chemical pheromones have also never been tested for any effects on humans. Please understand that the levels of these artificial substances being used in urban areas are at levels 10's of thousands of times more concentrated than those encountered in nature. What are the effects of these very persistent chemicals on humans? No one knows? Do you want to accept that risk?

Resist the quarantines, ask questions, get educated (Northern California resisted after the CDFA sprayed regions of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties with synthetic chemicals never meant for or tested for exposure to humans and without any efficacy tests on how these treatments might work), urge reclassification of LBAM. Refuse to sign compliance agreements until all of your questions are answered. Stand up and fight with legal challenges. LBAM is not a threat, our Ag agencies are the real threat despite the fact their job is to protect us.

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