California Department of Food and Agriculture places insect traps in Long Beach yards

CDFA insect trap in Bixby Knolls

Notices by the California Department of Food and Agriculture were taped to the door of Long Beach residents notifying them that insect traps had recently been placed in their yards.

The traps are part of CDFA’s effort to protect fruit trees in the community from invasive pests.

CDFA officials will follow all public health guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic when installing and checking traps on residents’ property. CDFA employees will not knock, enter the home or backyard or make contact with residents unless requested to. Traps will be checked biweekly.

Notices by the California Department of Food Agriculture were taped to front doors in Long Beach neighborhoods to inform resident that insect traps have been installed in their front yards. (Kristen Farrah Naeem | Signal Tribune)

Among the pests CDFA is monitoring is the Japanese beetle, which is already well established in the United States, especially on the East Coast. Japanese beetles often find their way onto planes on the East Coast and consequently make their way to Western states. The Japanese beetle has no natural predator in California to keep the population under control and can cause plants to lose their foliage..

Besides plane inspections, Japanese beetle traps are placed in and near airports, air cargo sorting facilities and residential neighborhoods near airports.

Between 20 and 300 Japanese beetles are captured at California airports by CDFA each year.

Adult Japanese beetles can feed on the fruit, flowers and leaves of over 300 different species of plants and trees. Some of its most common hosts are apple, elm, maple, nectarine, plum and peach trees, rose bushes, stalks of corn and grape vines.

CDFA inspectors will be wearing airport ID and employee photo ID badges and will be driving government vehicles.

Community members with questions about the program or traps can call (800) 491-1899 between 8am and 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and then press 0 to talk to an operator.

For more information visit the CDFA website.

“We all must work together to protect our fruit trees,” the CDFA statement read.

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