Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Light Brown Apple Moth

The light brown apple moth is a threat to our fruit, flowers and trees. Don't move non-inspected fruit and vegetables.

The Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittanaor LBAM) is native to Australia. The first United States mainland detection was in California in 2007. The greatest damage can occur to agriculture, including backyard gardens. LBAM also damages many plants found in backyard gardens and agricultural produce. Some of the plants it affects are roses, chrysanthemums, jasmine and clover, as well as eucalyptus and poplar trees.

LBAM is known to damage more than 2,000 species of plants and trees and 250 agricultural crops, and it could expand its preferences as it is exposed to new plants and crops. Some of the plants and crops LBAM damages include:

  • Alfalfa
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Berries (blackberry, boysenberry and raspberry)
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clover
  • Eucalyptus
  • Grape
  • Hawthorn
  • Jasmine
  • Monterey pine
  • Poplar
  • Rose
  • Fresh produce, fruit and vegetables
  • Soil
  • Nursery stock
  • Green waste and conveyances
  • Visible caterpillars: green and just over half an inch long. LBAM caterpillars are often confused with other species and testing is needed to confirm if a caterpillar is the LBAM. The caterpillars create a protective covering by webbing new leaves together and feeding within this protected area.
  • Visible adult moths: approximately 1/3 to 2/5 inches long, just over half the size of a dime. Although adult coloring is variable, the moths are generally a pale yellowish-brown with darker brown markings on their forewings.
  • Damaged fruit or vegetables
  • Never remove fresh produce from your property if your area is under LBAM quarantine.
  • Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables, plants or soil into your state or another state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them first.
  • Cooperate with all quarantine restrictions or rules that might be imposed.
  • Allow authorized agricultural workers access to property to install and inspect insect-monitoring traps.
  • Know the quarantines in your area and learn to leave Hungry Pests behind.


What's at Risk from the Light Brown Apple Moth:

Complementary Content