Wasps to be released in Los Osos

July 8, 2011

Trichogramma Wasp


State agricultural officials are releasing hundreds of tiny wasps in Los Osos neighborhoods to try to control infestations of the light brown apple moth that damages fruit and other plants.

“There is no risk to pets, humans or any other animals,” said San Luis Obispo County Chief Deputy Ag Commissioner Brenda Ouwerkerk. “People probably won’t be able to even see the wasps” which are about the size of a grain of rice and stinger-less.

For the next two weeks the wasps will be placed in areas near the Bay Oaks reserve off of Los Osos Valley Road to combat the moth species which is an invasive agricultural and environmental pest. The moth, a native to Australia, is known to damage crops, trees and plants.

State agriculture crews will place small cards with the wasp pupae on outdoor plants in the infested neighborhoods. When the adult wasps emerge they will seek out the eggs of the apple moth.

Residents will be contacted individually by crews distributing the wasp pupae.

Light Brown Apple Moth

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) selected San Luis Obispo and Sacramento counties as test sites to release hundreds of the pale yellow wasps in known infested neighborhoods and areas as part of its latest integrated pest management tool to control the moth species.

The state’s efforts to eradicate the bug have faced opposition in California. In 2007, environmental groups successfully fought the spraying of a pheromone mixture which reportedly made hundreds of people sick in Monterey and Santa Cruz.

While the moth has only caused a small amount of crop damage in California, which is the only known infested area in the continental U.S., state agricultural officials say they want to take preventative measures to avoid widespread harm which has been reported in Australia.

“It’s a thoughtful approach that selects management options to achieve results while minimizing detrimental impacts,” said California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross in a statement.

Public meetings were held locally to inform people of the plans.



  1. thinkaboutit says:

    Wasps? Oy vey…

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Paperboys says:

    It’s the “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” syndrome.
    They released tne wasp to kill the moth, they released a spider to kill the wasp, then a bird to eat the spiders, feral cats to eat the birds, then wolves to eat the cats…
    So what if the moths eat apples or other fruits, deer and other native critters probably destroy a whole lot more crops than any stupid moth ever could.

    (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
  3. RobertWilliams says:


    The entomologist who first noticed it, three courts who evaluated it, the state senate committee on agriculture all determined that the moth is a NON-ISSUE to agriculture.

    Only the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA), the USDA, and the chemical companies who stood to rob the taxpayers of $100 Million per year for unnecessary pesticide contracts for 30 years are keeping this propaganda about LBAM alive. Also, A couple of kiss-up county agriculture commissioners who promote the CDFA’s scams rather than working for the people of the county.

    These wasps are another unnecessary inappropriate biological method to continue to extort taxpayers of their hard earned and these days in-short-supply money.

    The expensive wasps will likely throw natural systems out of balance and that will create more problems that CDFA can then pretend to solve (for more $$$ of course.)

    In Northern California, these false claims about LBAM were finally uncovered and CDFA had to stop the unnecessary pesticide program there. But in order to continue to rob taxpayers, CDFA is now pulling this wasp scam and the same old pesticide scam in San Diego and San Luis Obispo where the people simply aren’t familiar with the truth about this moth and this fraudulent program.

    The quarantines and interference with farming are very real, but they are caused by the CDFA, not LBAM.

    Contact any/every agriculture commissioner in the state and you will find: NO DOCUMENTED DAMAGE FROM LBAM in the state of California. Media reports of damage are taken from false information given to the media by the CDFA.

    LBAM has been in the state for over 50 years now, not a recent arrival (about 12 years) as CDFA preaches, but regardless, NO DAMAGE, NONE. Check for yourself!

    See a Professor’s Press Release on the Fraud of the CDFA LBAM program:

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  4. Typoqueen says:

    Oh geez, I hope that they know what they’re doing. Hawaii imported mongoose to help them with their mouse problem (mongooses eat mice), they have a lot of mice. They didn’t realize that the mice were nocturnal and that mongoose isn’t so now they have not only a lot of mice but now they also have a lot of mongooses.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
    • justme says:

      Oh-oh, the State’s getting involved. Watch the moths provide the nourishment required for the wasp to grow into a foot long menace with a giant stinger.
      Hey, it’s L.O.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  5. Alon_Perlman says:

    Don’t worry about the wasps, we have a gnat that will bioremediate the wasps should they get out of control, and back up measures and so on ad infinitum.
    The demographics of Los Osos will allow the WASPs to intergrate well.

    (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  6. Kettel says:

    What kind of wasps? So tiny but only hundreds?

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  7. Vagabond says:

    I wonder if there will be a control study, one where they purposefully expose moth eggs in a controlled setup? would be interesting if they could confirm success with this procedure, but not all schemes work as desired.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • RobertWilliams says:

      No Control program because that would show that their Wasp release program costing a fortune was worse than doing nothing. This is ALL about fake science and taking taxpayer money.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • Vagabond says:

        I had a feeling there was more to this story, I’ve seen it before with other agencies, The Snowy Plover comes to mind, genetically the same bird lives by the thousands in the Sierra foothills, but on the beach it’s threatened. And don’t forget the otters they took to the Channel Islands to feed to the sharks.
        Best laid plans….

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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