Aerial Release of Light Brown Apple Moth
Pheromone in Effort to Eradicate Infestation



11-06-07 - Federal judge won't halt spraying: Burden of proof on plaintiff

11-05-07 - Fog delays new round of moth spraying: Santa Cruz County women go to court

11-04-07 - N. County quiet over spraying: Only about two dozen residents attend moth pheromone meeting in Prunedale

11- 03-07 - A few areas got extra spray: Pilot error at edges of zone

11-02-07 - CDFA says some overspraying occurred

11-02-07 - Moth spraying area reduced in North County

11-01-07 - Judge allows moth pesticide spraying to start in Santa Cruz

10-27-07 - Apple moth spraying enters third day: final round of spraying is expected tonight.

10-26-07 - Clouds ground moth-spray planes

10-26-07 - Spray forces earlier MPC football start

10-26-07 - Moth spraying goes smoothly: Only two more flyovers to go

10-25-07 - CDFA: Moth spray goes smoothly Residents can sign up for email notification.

10-25-07 - See map of area treated Wednesday night (680 KB PDF) (external link)

10-25-07 - Officials, residents discuss spraying: Airborne operation to end Saturday

10-24-07 - Moth spraying resumes tonight on Peninsula

10-22-07 - Spray ingredients released: Sacramento: Governor also orders spraying to resume

10-20-07 - Spraying for apple moth will resume: Judge lifts ban; treatment to start Wednesday


10-19-07 - Spray ingredient called 'perfectly safe'

10-19-07 - Judge puts off ruling on apple moth spraying

10-18-07 - Judge may allow spraying


10-18-07 - Confusion over moth-mix ingredients: Firm says PPI a trade secret; EPA says it isn't in spray

10-17-07 - Monterey won't join moth spray lawsuit: Hearing on injunction continues Thursday

10-16-07 - Officials say no hazard in spray: Report of dangerous ingredient an error, they claim

10-14-07 - Ravenous insect has bad record :the tiny pest is a voracious eater.

10-14-07 - The buzz on moths: Who knew that the Aussie pest was just one of 430 species in county?

10-13-07 - Fragrant, phenomenal pheromones

10-12-07 - Spraying timeline uncertain: After court ordered-halt, state plans review of data

10-11-07 - Judge orders moth spraying halted: Question of whether ingredient dangerous

10-11-07 - Pesticide agency to recheck chemical safety

10-10-07 - Spraying postponed due to weather

10-09-07 - Spraying to resume tonight: Court challenge, bad weather could force change of plans

10-04-07 - THE HERALD'S VIEW: Moth spraying fears need to be better addresse

10-04-07 - Spray awareness vowed: State, federal ag officials meet with Salinas representatives to discuss moth eradication project

10-03-07 - Ag secretary pledges more outreach

10-02-07 - City eyes spraying resolution: Seaside to consider sending request for information

9-29-07 - The carrier of excitement

9-28-07 - Mayor: Moth spraying a PR disaster

9-28-07 - Group sues to stop spraying. HOPE among opponents of the state's plans to eradicate the light brown apple moth are taking their fight to court.

9-27-07 - Second round of spraying next month: Peninsula to receive treatments starting Oct. 9.

9-26-07 - More moth spraying coming

9-19-07 - Sickness blamed on moth spray

9-18-07 - Two groups form to oppose more spraying

9-16-07 - Daily sprays worse than pheromones


9-12-07 • Anti-moth spraying may not be over

9-10-07 • Planes apply first round of moth spray in Seaside


9-08-07 • Spraying is still a go for Sunday



9-05-07 - Aerial spraying for Apple Moth to begin Sunday night. Agriculture Department provides more information.

9-01-07 - Moth spraying on Peninsuila suspended.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's August 31, 2007 story, "Peninsula apple moth spraying on hold" on their web site, (an external link).

8-31-07 - Monterey mayor to request meeting with state official to oppose moth spraying.

8-23-07 - Monterey City Council schedules meeting with staff of state Department of Food and Agrculture on August 29 in Conference Center, to be televised.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's August 23rd, 2007 story, "Moth talks not over yet" on their web site, (an external link).

8-19-07 - Aerial Release of Light Brown Apple Moth Pheromone Scheduled in Effort to Eradicate Infestation in Northern Monterey County. Your area is scheduled for treatment starting at 8:00 p.m. on September 5, 6 and 7, 2007. Residents are asked to take precautions during these nightime spraying runs.

  • For more details CLICK here for the Monterey County Herald's August 19th, 2007 story, "Moths target of spraying plan" on their web site, (an external link).


Seaside/Monterey, Marina - August 20th & 21st, 2007 Meeting locations (on this website)

Monterey - Santa Cruz (on this website)

Also visit: California Department of Food and AgricuLture website (EXTERNAL LINK)

SACRAMENTO, August 14, 2007, Beginning the evening of September 5, a team of three airplanes will begin releasing a pheromone designed to confuse male light brown apple moths (LBAM) and keep them from locating a mate.  The pheromones are scheduled to be applied over approximately 60 square miles including the communities of Marina, Seaside, Sand City, Del Rey Oaks, Monterey and Pacific Grove.  The application will occur over two to three nights, with a second application scheduled to occur in the same area in October (see map at

While conventional insecticides are designed to kill insects, pheromones are designed to distract or confuse them so that they cannot breed.  In nature, the pheromone is released by the female moth to attract a mate. The ?scent? is undetectable to humans and is highly specific to the light brown apple moth, so it does not affect other kinds of insects or animals. The aerial releases, which will resemble a light mist, are intended to surround the local moth population with pheromone so that the male moths can?t locate the female moths. The moth population will decline and collapse as the rate of breeding slows and eventually subsides. The pheromone remains effective for about a month.

This insect is a threat not only to our agricultural crops but also to our natural habitat, parks and landscaping, redwoods, oaks and other prized elements of our environment, said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. It was important to identify an eradication alternative that took all of these conditions and constraints into account, and I believe we have succeeded in finding the most appropriate approach. Pheromone release is among the most advanced and environmentally sensitive eradication tools ever used in California.

Agricultural officials from the federal, state and county levels involved in the Cooperative Light Brown Apple Moth Eradication Project will provide two informational Open House sessions so that area residents can learn more about the project and discuss any questions or concerns one-on-one with experts in areas such as human health, environment and habitat, insect biology, eradication efforts, and quarantine restrictions.  Residents in the treatment area will receive notices by mail detailing both the treatment schedule and the open house sessions.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

Monday, August 20, 2007, 6-9 p.m.
Oldemeyer Multi-use Center
Blackhorse Room
98 Avenue
Seaside, CA 93955

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 6-9 p.m. Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Boardroom
700 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93942

When applications begin the night of September 5, the planes will release an odorless, colorless pheromone material called Checkmate OLR-F which has been reviewed and approved by the EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The product has been registered and in use for over a decade with no reports of any health or environmental effects.

The contractor for the aerial applications is Dynamic Aviation, the same company that CDFA has contracted with for several years to release sterile Mediterranean fruit flies to prevent infestations in the Los Angeles basin.  The company will fly three King Air twin-turbine aircraft flying at an altitude of approximately 500-800 feet to release the pheromone, using Salinas Municipal Airport as their base of operations. Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems will guide the pilots on preset grids.

Over the past few months, these communities have been part of a regional quarantine that has helped keep the infestation from spreading to other areas of the state.  Now that the cooperative team of federal, state and local agricultural officials has deployed an array of insect traps throughout the state and determined that the infestation is largely confined to the Central Coast and East Bay areas, leading scientists have prescribed these pheromone treatments as the next step toward eradication.  The Monterey/Seaside/Marina portion of the infested areas was chosen for the first round of pheromone applications because of its proximity to crops susceptible to the LBAM infestation.  Pheromone releases in other infested areas will be planned as the program progresses.

The light brown apple moth is of particular concern because it can damage a wide range of crops and other plants including the Central Coasts prized cypress as well as redwoods, oaks and many other varieties commonly found in our urban and suburban landscaping, public parks, and natural environment.  The list of agricultural crops that could be damaged by this pest includes grapes, citrus, stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots) and many others.  The complete host list contains well over 250 plant species.  The pest damages plants and crops by feeding on leaves, new shoots and fruit


The California Department of Food and Agriculture protects and promotes California's $31.8 billion agricultural industry. California's farmers and ranchers produce a safe, secure supply of food, fiber and shelter; marketed fairly for all Californians; and produced with responsible environmental stewardship.

California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
Nancy Lungren, Deputy Secretary
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814