(Nov. 3, 2005) -- As previously reported by LBReport.com, the CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) reports finding Diaprepes root weevils at 14 locations in LB's Spinnaker Cove area south of CSULB and has designated a 1.5 square mile area of southeast LB as a "quarantine zone" to regulate the movement of plants, green waste and soil from the area.
CDFA says the exotic pest threatens more than 270 species of plants; adults feed on leaves; larvae burrow underground and feed on plant roots.
So...now what are you supposed to do (or not do) if you're inside the quarantine zone (bounded by 7th St., PCH, 2d St. and Park Ave.) or outside the zone?
|CDFA spokesman Steve Lyle says the major concern right now is green waste, and the agency is working with landscaping firms that service the southeast LB area to ensure they know they should dispose of it and handle it in certain ways so it doesn't get moved elsewhere (except to a proper landfill or dump).
Photo source: University of CA Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources publication 8131, Diaprepes Root Weevil
Mr. Lyle says if you're inside the weevil quarantine zone and are having landscaping done, or have plans that might generate green waste, call CDFA (1-800-491-1899) and they'll help in advising how to handle it (specific recommendations are currently being worked out).
And even if you're not in the quarantine zone, CDFA says it would welcome the public's help in keeping an eye out for the root weevils. Since the weevils have been found in a non-contiguous area -- Newport Beach, 18 miles away from Long Beach -- the agency is concerned about where else they might be.
If you do gardening at home and spot something that looks like the root weevil like the one in the photo above, call CDFA at 1-800-491-1899 and let them know...and they'll appreciate it. Diaprepes root weevils are black with distinctive orange, yellow or gray markings on their backs.
CDFA says that left unchecked, the pest could damage urban and rural landscaping, the nursery industry, and significant portions of California's fruit and vegetable output, including citrus, a favorite of the pest. It says disposal options for green waste are currently being evaluated...and it's also "evaluating options for management of the Diaprepes root weevil population." It may take "3 to 5 years to eradicate the pest," the agency says.