LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH (LBAM)
Females are larger than males, and usually have less distinct markings, but often have a distinct spot in the middle when the wings are closed.
Typical males have a forewing with a light brown area at the base, which is distinguishable from a much darker, red-brown area at the tip.
What is the Light Brown Apple Moth?
The Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) is an invasive pest that attacks over 250 agricultural crops (including citrus, grapes, and fruit trees) and 2,000 landscape plants (such as roses, jasmines, and mums). Adults are small tan moths (1/3-1/2 inch in length). Caterpillars are yellowish green and can often be found within a silk chamber under a rolled leaf edge.
Why LBAM matters:
This pest has the potential to severely damage residential landscapes, orchards, and agricultural crops. LBAM caterpillars feed on leaves and new growth, and can damage fruit. The spread of this pest throughout the county would be extremely costly to San Diego’s agricultural industry, requiring special handling and increased pesticide applications. Currently there are four infested areas in San Diego County: Rancho Santa Fe, Oceanside/Vista, Pacific Beach/Sea World, and Rancho Bernardo.
How can you help?
- Don’t move this pest! LBAM can be spread by people moving infested plants, fruits, and vegetables. If you live in an infested area, don’t move home grown fruits and vegetables, or outside plants from your yard. Green waste (except grass) should be bagged or placed in a closed bin for pick-up.
- Keep an eye out! Look for LBAM where you work and live
- Bring in possible LBAM samples or other pests to the County Entomology Lab for identification. It’s a free service!
- Control any infestations you find
LBAM damage on apples
Are you in or out of the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) quarantine area? Check the map
- CDFA LBAM Web site
- California Department of Food and Agriculture LBAM brochure [PDF]
- Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) Project - a cooperative project of the California Department of Food & Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture
- University of California Integrated Pest Management Online
- United States Department of Agriculture