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MAF - Painted Apple Moth Finds Explained

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry wants to put into perspective the catches of painted apple moths in traps outside west Auckland suburbs and other areas of Auckland.

In the last couple of weeks, there have been catches of male moths in several traps around the periphery of the trapping zone in Scenic Drive, Titirangi and Oratia, west Auckland and in Pt Chevalier and the Onehunga-Penrose area in Auckland City.

Director of Forest Biosecurity, Dr Ruth Frampton says, “MAF is concerned about the trap catches in Titirangi and Oratia and has taken action. We’ve started property by property surveys in the area and will continue with ground spraying and trapping .”

But she explains, “the catches in Auckland City suburbs are not alarming. Only one or two male moths were found. We’ve had no reports of female moths or caterpillars. With the warmer weather more male moths are emerging and we expect to find them further afield - male moths can fly several kilometres so what we’ve found recently is not unusual.”

“Finding one or two male moths in isolated areas is not alarming. The female moths can’t fly, so it’s very unlikely they are breeding.”

“Our latest data shows that most of the largest trap catches for the week are still concentrated in west Auckland along the Whau River and associated waterways. This is the area targeted for aerial spraying in early 2002 to boost the ground eradication operation,” Dr Frampton says.

Ends


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