Light Brown Apple Moth Combated with Pheromones Instead of Pesticides
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has changed tactics in combating the light brown apple moth. Rather than spraying affected parts of Napa with a pesticide called bacillus thuringinsis, pheromone twist ties are being attached to fences and trees. Officials believe these pheromones will confuse moths looking for a mate and lessen the possibility of reproduction.
The change in strategy is the result of environmental and health concerns raised by some members of the local community. A. G. Kawamura, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said, “This is among the most advanced and environmentally sensitive eradication tools ever used in California.”
The light brown apple moth was first discovered in the backyard of a Napa home near West Lincoln Avenue on May 9, 2007. According to the Department of Food and Agriculture, the twist ties will be placed on about 70 properties and left for 90 days.
Native to Australia, the light brown apple moth eats many agricultural crops, including grape vines. Although the moth has been found in 11 different counties, officials are particularly worried about its impact on Napa Valley’s lucrative wine industry.