An Asian citrus psyllid has been detected in a trap in a citrus grove in the La Conchita area of Ventura County.
The detection will trigger a quarantine. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will prohibit the movement of host nursery stock out of the area and require that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the area. CDFA is working with the grower at the detection site to determine options for treatment.
Additionally, CDFA is working with the Citrus Research Board to increase trapping levels in nearby citrus groves. Agricultural Commissioners’ offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are also contributing to the cooperative effort to detect any additional psyllids.
“The Asian citrus psyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “We’re working to determine the full extent of this infestation so that we can protect our state’s vital citrus industry as well as our backyard citrus trees.”
The pest is of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB). All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health until it dies. HLB has not been detected in trapped Asian citrus psyllids or trees in California.
The state of Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus producing counties in that state. The pest and the disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.