Not Again!

Nov 6, 2008

Not again!

The light brown apple moth, also known as "the eat-everything moth" because its larvae dine on about 250 host plants, is back in the news again.

We received a press release yesterday (Nov. 5) from Stephen Pierce, public information officer for the City of Fairfield, that a light brown apple moth was found during a routine trap inspection near Powell Court, Fairfield.

This is the third appearance of the light brown apple moth
(Epiphyas postvittana), aka LBAM, in Solano County. It was first discovered in the county on Mare Island, Vallejo, in June 2007. On Oct. 24, 2008 the moth was found on Oakridge Lane, near Lopes Road, Benicia.

 As of Nov. 5, the number of individual moths found in Solano County now totals 24--which is 24 too many.

Pierce reports that the county is working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to deploy delimitation traps in a 1.5-mile radius around the find.

Unfortunately, the new find is near agriculture production areas, mostly grapes and olives.  The Fairfield-Suisun area is known for its grape/wine production.

Said Solano County Agricultural Commissioner Jim Allan: “I do not anticipate any impact on agricultural commodities this season, because the harvest is largely complete for the crops grown in the area."

Ironically, the Northern California Entomology Society will meet today (Nov. 6) and invasive pests are on the The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Contra Costa County
Mosquito and Vector Control District headquarters, 155 Mason Circle, Concord. Leading off the speakers,  William Roltsch of the CDFA's Biocontrol Branch will discuss “Biocontrol of the Light Brown Apple Moth, a Quarantine Pest in California."

The society, comprised of university faculty, researchers, pest abatement professionals, students and other interested persons, meets three times a year:   the first Thursday in February at the Hungry Hunter, Fairfield; the first Thursday in May at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis; and the first Thursday in November at the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District office, Concord. Membership dues are $10 year. UC Davis Exension apiculturist (bee specialist) Eric Mussen is the society's secretary-treasurer (

LBAM is nobody's favorite insect and everybody's favorite target.  If you spot it, call the CDFA toll-free pest hotline at (800) 491-1899. You can also find more  information on its Web site.


That pest is really a pest.



By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

MALE LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH--The light brown apple moth is a native of Australia. (Photo courtesy of David Williams, principal scientist, Perennial Horticulture,  Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.)

Male light brown apple moth

FEMALE LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH--The female has lighter coloring than the male. In Australia, it lays up to 1500 eggs in a clutch, usually three times a year.(Photo courtesy of David Williams, principal scientist, Perennial Horticulture,  Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.)

Female light brown apple moth