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Crop-harming apple moth found near San Francisco

March 23, 2007|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials will be closely watching grapes, peaches and other crops in California after a moth that can damage leaves and fruit was discovered near San Francisco, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday.

The light brown apple moth, native to Australia, was found in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

It was the first time it had been found in the contiguous United States.

The apple moth can attack a wide range of plant species -- more than 250 in total -- including peaches, plums, apricots, apples, pears, grapes, cherries and citrus.

The pest also can destroy young seedlings and ruin the appearance of ornamental plants.

An adult apple moth can damage leaves through egg laying; larvae can harm leaves and fruits to the extent that they would be unmarketable.

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