State agriculture crews are conducting a survey in Fresno’s River Park area after a sniff dog detected Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in a duffel bag in Fresno last month. Testing showed one of the insects was infected with huanglongbing (HLB), a dangerous citrus disease. HLB has devastated thousands of acres of citrus throughout Florida and Brazil and caused billions of dollars in losses to citrus trees.
California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) crews will deploy traps in a one-square mile area, conduct visual surveys, and use a vacuum device on host plants to search for ACP. The survey area is near the residence of the duffel bag’s intended recipient.
Presently, six inspection dog teams (one handler and dog per team) are operating out of five counties: Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Bernardino. Four additional teams will be trained in a 10-week course this fall, with plans to be functioning by early spring 2010. The new teams will operate out of Los Angeles County, Santa Clara County, and San Diego County.
CDFA has established quarantines for ACP in San Diego and Imperial counties after detections were made there last year. HLB has not been found in the state, aside from the single detection in the psyllid intercepted in Fresno in July.