New exotic insect pests in California and the importance of early detection for control
The Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures (ACWM) operates the Entomology Laboratory that offers identification services for invertebrates found entering Los Angeles County through airfreight, ship, truck, and parcel delivery operations. In the past years several new to California, United States or Western Hemisphere insect pests were detected in Los Angeles County. To ensure rapid field identification and submission of insect specimens by agricultural inspectors, the laboratory staff has created a unique reference image database of exotic invertebrates and their damage. Some of these images were also incorporated into pest alert sheets and advisories used in the training of Los Angeles County residents, growers, students and nursery and pest control company personnel.
On the basis of recent pest introduction examples, it was demonstrated how ACWM staff contributed to various state and federal pest control and eradication projects through early detection, field monitoring, use of information technology, public outreach, and collaboration with various universities and government agencies.
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