Pest prevention programs are mandated by the California Food and Agricultural Code to prevent the introduction and spread of pests in California. Pests include insects, weeds, plant diseases, and animals. Pest prevention involves three strata: pest exclusion, pest detection, and integrated pest control.
The Pest Exclusion Program is the first line of defense preventing the introduction of detrimental pests that are not of common occurrence in the county. Currently, glassy winged sharpshooter and red imported fire ant pose the biggest threat, however inspectors are always looking for the presence of any potentially unwanted pest. In Madera County, inspections ensuring pest cleanliness are performed annually at all nursery locations. In addition, incoming shipments of plant material are inspected for potentially harmful pests. When needed other non-plant material shipments are also inspected; such as beehives to insure they are not carrying red imported fire ant. Through these safeguards we hope to stop unwanted pests from entering Madera County.
The Pest Detection Program is the second line of defense. This program utilizes insect traps and surveys to discover foreign pests which may have eluded exclusion efforts. The goal of this program is to detect small, isolated areas of possible infestation so that these pests can be eradicated before they spread to other areas. The trapping program of Madera County targets several different insect pests which may include:
- Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) / Huanglongbing (HLB) pathogen
- European Grapevine Moth (EGVM)
- Exotic Fruit Fly
- Gypsy Moth (GM)
- Japanese Beetle (JB)
- Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM)
The Integrated Pest Control Program strives to eradicate small infestations of new pests before they become widespread. Currently, Pink Bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), a non-established and economically significant pest of cotton, is controlled by post-season plowdown of cotton plants. This ensures destruction of habitat for the destructive pest.