Moth kill draws fire

A plan announced last week by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to eradicate an invasive species of moth is stirring the ire of many Bay Area residents, political leaders and environmentalists.

To rid San Francisco, the East Bay and Marin County of the brown apple moth, the agency is planning to use planes to spray large swaths of those urban regions with a type of pesticide that would keep the insects from breeding, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The species, which is native to Australia and known to stunt seedlings, is a threat to the area’s $640 million agriculture industry.

The plan comes on the heels of a series of aerial sprayings that took place over the course of several months last fall in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. There, hundreds of residents reported adverse affects from the pesticide, such as headaches and wheezing.