Light brown apple moth detected in Polk County

Officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture have detected at least two light brown apple moths (LBAM) at a nursery and orchard in Polk County.

LBAM is a federally regulated quarantine pest detected in several California counties since 2007. It can kill seedlings and affect the appearance of ornamental plants. Several nursery, orchard and food crops are considered hosts, including alfalfa, apple, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, clover, cottonwood, currant, grape, hops, kiwi, peach, pear, poplar, potato, raspberry, strawberry, willow, and even young conifers such as pines. Read the ODA pest alert for more information.

These are the first detections of LBAM in Oregon in the last five years. In 2010, one of the moths was detected, but after further trapping, no additional moths were found and the pest was considered gone from the area.

Federal officials currently consider this a one-time detection. As such, it would not result in a quarantine. ODA officials will try to determine how LBAM made its way to Oregon this time. They will also do further trapping to track and hopefully eradicate the pest. Farmers and growers are urged not to interfere with any traps, as it impairs their pest control efforts. That in turn could cause a federal quarantine and great economic harm to all Oregon growers.