May 7, 2007
USDA Federal Order to Halt Spread of Light Brown Apple Moth

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has implemented a federal order to restrict the interstate movement of nursery stock, cut flowers and greenery from several counties in California and the entire state of Hawaii to prevent the spread of Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM).

Under the order, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and San Mateo counties in California and all Hawaiian counties must meet certain conditions before shipping articles interstate.

The federal order expands on initial regulatory action taken by the California Department of Food and Agriculture March 28.

APHIS confirmed the presence of LBAM in Alameda County, Calif., on March 22. Surveillance and trapping have since identified the pest in seven additional California counties.

Under the order, all California shipments of host articles originating within 1.5 miles of an LBAM detection must be visually inspected and certified free of the pest prior to movement.

APHIS included Hawaii in the order because LBAM is established in the state, but no data exists on the exact distribution of the pest. All shipments of host commodities leaving Hawaii must be visually inspected and certified free of LBAM before leaving the state.

The order also requires survey trapping, nursery treatments and precautionary production practices within quarantine areas.

LBAM is native to Australia and also is found in New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The host range for LBAM is broad, with more than 250 plant species known to be susceptible. Major domestic hosts of concern are stone fruit, apples, pears, grapes, cherries and citrus.

The pest destroys, stunts or deforms young seedlings, spoils the appearance of ornamental plants and injures fruit.

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