The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s office is announcing that one additional Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has been detected on a trap south of the city of Exeter. The latest interception was confirmed by the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). Maps and current information are available on the Agricultural Commissioner’s website by visiting: http://agcomm.co.tulare.ca.us/default/.
CDFA has already begun to survey the affected area in order to determine the extent of any infestation. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and CDFA will work collaboratively to determine what steps are taken next.
“This latest find is in the heart of our citrus belt, so it is very disappointing to hear that psyllids are being moved into a new part of our county,” said Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita.
The Asian citrus psyllid is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. 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, producing bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. To date, HLB has been detected on just one residential property in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Kinoshita points out that her staff will support the efforts of our $750 million citrus industry, as well as our residential citrus owners. “I want to emphasize that every citizen of our county plays a role in assuring that ACP is not spread from other parts of the state”.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner. Media inquiries related to technical questions about Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease are encouraged to contact Katie Rowland, Account Coordinator for Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Inc. at (661)817-3638.