A third light brown apple moth has been found in Sonoma on Ramal Road, near the Napa County line, the Sonoma News reports.
County agriculture officials will closely monitor that area of town, placing more traps and planning more frequent inspections. If another moth is found, the state could order a new quarantine zone, which would restrict the movement of plants and could impact grape growers during the height of the harvest season.
The first two moths were found in Sonoma in February and April, causing the state to impose a 15-mile quarantine zone that stretches north to Elderidge. The third moth was found outside the quarantine zone.
The moths were first discovered in California in early 2007. State agriculture officials have said that, left unchecked, the moths could cause billions of dollars in crop loss.
The latest discovery came shortly after state officials put a halt to plans to place pheromone-laced twist ties throughout the quarantine zone to interrupt the moths’ mating cycle. While health officials say the twist ties pose no harm to humans or animals, many valley residents vehemently opposed the plan.