Report Says Moth Isn't So Dangerous, Questions Calif Spray Plan

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - A new study claims an invasive moth that spurred state plans to spray San Francisco Bay area cities with a chemical may not be such a voracious pest, after all.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture says a light brown apple moth infestation is best contained by spraying a pheromone called CheckMate over San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and other communities in August.

State officials say the Australian species threatens more than 2,000 varieties of plants and crops.

The report written by the executive director of the University of California, Santa Cruz's arboretum says the moth can likely be kept in check by natural predators of similar moths already present in the state.

The state agency did not immediately return a message seeking
comment Friday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-07-08 1515EST

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