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For Immediate Release
July 28, 2000
Release CDFA00-034
Contact: Steve Lyle
                Larry Cooper

CDFA Progress Outlined in Annual Report

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the release of its annual report on Biological Control Programs. When possible, CDFA employs natural means to battle exotic pests. The report on activities for 1999 highlights some of the department's leading projects, including significant progress in the development of a bio-control measure for the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

The report discusses the efforts of CDFA Entomologist Larry Bezark to locate a parasite capable of destroying glassy-winged sharpshooter egg masses. Bezark traveled to Mexico to search for the best possible parasite, which has turned out to be a tiny non-stinging wasp. The parasitic wasp, called Gonatocerus triguttatus, lays eggs of its own inside the egg masses, with the emerging parasites consuming the sharpshooter eggs.

CDFA is currently negotiating for space in Riverside County in which to mass-rear the parasitic wasps. Initial introduction for pest control is tentatively scheduled for August. The first results may become known in the spring of 2001. The wasps are expected to help reduce the need for chemical treatments.

Financing for the project comes from the $36 million recently secured from federal and state sources in an emergency funding drive led by California Governor Gray Davis.

The annual report also outlines bio-control programs targeted at the olive fruit fly, silverleaf whitefly and the pink hisbuscus mealybug, in addition to updating other projects.

The report is available on CDFA's web site,


California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, California  95814