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Agricultural Commissioner - County of Sonoma

Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) Detection and Exclusion Program


Since March 2007, when Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), an invasive pest native to Australia, was confirmed for the first time in California and the continental United States, we have been placing and servicing traps to detect LBAM. Additionally, we have been providing outreach to the community, the agricultural and nursery industries, and responding to general inquiries.

In 2008 two LBAM, the first in Sonoma County, were confirmed near Boyes Hot Springs which triggered state and federal quarantines in Sonoma County. These quarantines restrict the movement of fruits, vegetables, plants, and related articles. During the second half of 2008, there were several LBAM found in the Carneros Winegrape region near the Sonoma/Napa county line creating a new quarantine area.

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General Information

Under state law, California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) has the responsibility and authority to control and eradicate invasive pests in California (Food and Agricultural Code Section 5321-5323).

CDFA stated the following in a letter to Assemblymember Noreen Evans on March 23, 2009: “Aerial applications for Light Brown Apple Moth pheromone mating disruption are not being applied in California. Aerial applications of pheromone mating disruption techniques will only be utilized in forested or inaccessible areas, which the department has not identified at this time.”

The Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is responsible for the detection of noxious pests in the county, and education and outreach to the community and agricultural industry regarding these pests and the quarantine restrictions. We are working directly with agriculture and related industries to help them meet state and/or federal requirements to move their commodities, and to ensure their business is impacted as little as possible.

LBAM has been detected in several other counties in the State. Visit CDFA’s website for current quarantine information and county maps.

LBAM has a host range of more than two-thousand plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest, and more than 250 crops. The moth injures grapes, citrus, and deciduous fruit tree crops; feeds on host plants favored by a number of endangered species; and spoils the appearance of ornamental plants. It also threatens California’s environment—including, redwood, oak, and cypress trees—by destroying, stunting or deforming young seedlings and damaging new growth in the forest canopy.

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Current Status of LBAM in Sonoma County

As of May 17, 2010, there have been 224 LBAM found in various parts of Sonoma County. Recent LBAM detections have lead to expansion of the quarantine boundaries and combining of quarantine areas. Currently there are two quarantine areas in Sonoma County: one very large area that includes Healdsburg to the north, Sebastopol to the west, the County line to the south, and the Carneros region to the east and a second area centered around Kenwood. There are approximately 24,000 acres of crops and 109 nurseries under State LBAM Quarantine.

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office has responded by:

  • Providing outreach and education including conducting numerous grower outreach meetings on the LBAM quarantine restrictions to help ensure producers will be able to move their commodities.
  • Issuing approximately 1,300 LBAM quarantine compliance agreements with growers and completing inspections assuring the continued movement of plant commodities.
  • Participating in meetings convened by Assemblymember Noreen Evans that included various environmental and agricultural interest groups to discuss LBAM. See link to consensus document under LBAM links below.
  • Requesting and receiving Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) support for the consensus document. Additionally, the BOS sent a letter to State Agricultural Secretary A.G. Kawamura urging CDFA complete the environmental review process for options to control LBAM. See link to BOS letter dated May 11, 2009, under LBAM links below to review all the recommendations.

CDFA has responded by:

  • Deploying additional pheromone traps surrounding new finds in order to pinpoint and monitor LBAM populations.
  • Creating new state quarantine area(s) and/or expanding the existing quarantine areas

Please contact our office at (707) 565-2371 for the latest information on LBAM

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Maps of Quarantine Areas in Sonoma County

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Shipment of Winegrapes Out of Sonoma County

If you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Grower shipping wine grapes out of state.
  • Grower within the LBAM quarantine area shipping wine grapes to an area in California not under LBAM quarantine
  • Grower within the EGVM quarantine area, shipping wine grapes to a county not under EGVM quarantine (EGVM quarantine counties as of 8/16/10 include Fresno, Lake, Mendocino, Merced, Napa, San Joaquin, Solano, and Sonoma)

Please call the Ag. Commissioner’s office at (707) 565-2373, and leave a voice message with the following information:

  • Vineyard name
  • Vineyard address, and number of acres to be harvested for shipment.
  • Call back phone #.
  • Expected date of harvest.
  • Where the shipment is going; the state or the county.

More information on the LBAM quarantine

LBAM Information for Winegrapes

List of Businesses Issued Compliance Agreements

This list includes businesses that are authorized to move and/or receive commodities from within the quarantine areas in Sonoma County as specified under compliance agreement. List of Businesses

LBAM Quarantine Restriction Information for the General Public

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Other Links

Press Releases


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