The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Walker), is a highly polyphagous pest that attacks a wide variety of fruits, trees and other plants. This species has a relatively restricted geographic distribution, found only in parts of Europe and Oceania. The pest is a native of Australia but has successfully invaded other countries. It has been determined that the establishment of this pest in the United States would have a severe effect on U.S. agriculture and natural ecosystem. Unfortunately, it has become established in California with seventeen counties now under quarantine. The quarantine areas consists of counties surrounding San Francisco Bay and extending southward along the coast to and including Los Angeles County.
Epiphyas postvittana is found in northern Europe, southern Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. The climate within its range can be generally characterized as temperate, dry, or tropical. Based on climate zones within the US, it is estimated that approximately 80% of the continental US may be climatically suitable for the establishment of LBAM. Epiphyas postvittana has a host range in excess of 120 plant genera in over 50 families with host preferences in the Compositae, Leguminosae, Polygonaceae, and Rosaceae. Some of the host plants include: apple (Malus domestica, Malus spp.), blackberry and raspberry (Rubus spp.), blueberry (Vaccinium sp.), Brassica spp., butterfly bush (Buddleia sp.), camellia (Camellia japonica), citrus (Citrus spp.), Clematis sp., clover (Trifolium spp.), euonymus (Euonymus spp.), Forsythia sp., grape (Vitis sp.), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), ivy (Hedera helix), walnut (Juglans sp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), oak (Quercus spp.), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), peach (Prunus persica), pear (Pyrus sp.), pepper (Capsicum spp.), Photinia sp., Pittosporum sp., pine (Pinus spp.), potato (Solanum tuberosum), rose (Rosa spp.), strawberry (Fragaria sp.), tomato (Lycopersicum spp.), viburnum ( Viburnum sp.), and willow (Salix sp.).