While California’s policy is to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth, a local researcher reports that New Zealand has adopted other tactics to control the bugs, which have been present in that country for more than a century.
One problem with California’s attempt to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth is that the state got a late start in that effort. U.C. Cooperative Extension biologist Lucia Varela says the number and dispersal of the moths suggests they were here for some time before they were discovered.
Right now, California’s official policy toward the apple moths is “zero tolerance,” so that any areas where they are found are place under quarantine. But Varlea and many other experts doubt that the bugs can successfully be eradicated. Instead, she says, a more realistic policy would be to control the apple moth populations, so they cause minimal damage to apples and other crops.
Lucia Varela also reported recently on the arrival of the European Grapevine Moth in the North Bay. You can hear the North Bay Report coverage of that development here.