Governor terminates spraying

Schwarzenegger and federal authorities nix a plan to fog urban areas for the brown apple moth

California residents and leaders concerned about the health effects of a proposed aerial pesticide assault on the brown apple moth can now breathe a littler easier.

State and federal agencies have decided not to spray urban areas of the Bay Area and Monterey Bay for the species. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made the call in the wake of public scrutiny and environmental concerns.

Most of the opposition stems from reports of respiratory problems associated with previous spraying in Santa Cruz and Monterey last fall.

Instead of spraying, the California Department of Food and Agriculture now plans to disrupt the species’ breeding by releasing sterile moths and using other mating-mitigation methods, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Native to Australia, the invasive moth is known to stunt seedlings, making the insects a threat to the area’s $640 million agriculture industry.