This week a quarantine goes into effect in some parts of Tulare County to stop the spread of Asian citrus psyllid, according to a 3-minute story on The California Report. The decision comes after officials found ACP in traps near Strathmore and Terra Bella. For an update on the pest and the disease it can carry, The California Report's Rachael Myrow spoke with Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside.
Myrow asked why the effort to prevent movement of ACP has not been successful.
"It's very difficult to police the movement of all types of citrus plants in and out of infested areas," Hoddle said. "People may accidentally and unwittingly move plants that have Asian citrus psyllid on them out of infested areas in Southern California to uninfested areas. Another way these psyllids may move is they potentially have the ability to hitchhike on farm machinery or even vehicles."
Listen to the full interview here:
Neil O’Connell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County, a citrus expert, recommends that field staff also be well versed on these issues since they are in the field daily during the citrus harvest.
Huanglongbing, a disease spread by Asian citrus psyllid, is the worst citrus disease in the world. The disease was detected on one tree in Southern California in March, the first such find in the state. Officials are asking for farmers and home gardeners to be on the look-out for other HLB-infected trees.
O'Connell says deficiencies of zinc, iron and manganese can resemble leaf symptoms found in trees with HLB.
"Some deficiencies have fairly similar symptoms," O'Connell said. "If you are very familiar with deficiency patterns in these elements then it is much easier to separate this out. You can recognize whether the problem is zinc, iron, manganese, or another deficiency while possibly ruling out HLB."
A distinguishing characteristic of HLB infection is a yellow area that crosses from one interveinal area to another, O'Connell explained.
"We're really good at providing detailed information to researchers, agricultural commissioners, Cooperative Extension advisors, inspectors and border protection agents about what to look for and how to respond," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside. "We can reach thousands of people that way."
But with Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing, "we're dealing with backyard situations, which is a whole new ballgame."
Campbell attended a conference in Davis last week focused on "Educating the public about new invasive species threatening California's plant ecosystems." Conference topics -- Huanglongbing disease, Asian citrus psyllid, light brown apple moth (LBAM), quagga and zebra mussels, European grapevine moth, sudden oak death, Japanese dodder, gold-spotted oak borer and red palm weevil -- were addressed by scientists, public officials, a public relations professional and a Sacramento Bee reporter.
"The public needs to be a partner in our efforts to respond to an invasive pest threat," said UC Davis post-doctorate researcher Margareta Lelea, who studied public reaction to LBAM treatments in Santa Cruz. "We need to figure out how we get to shared issues that the public cares about. The community has to be heard and feel like a partner in solving pest problems."
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The greatest immediate threat may be to the homeowners of Los Angeles County, 60 percent of who have a citrus tree in their yard, said Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and research entomologist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside and director of Lindcove Research & Extension Center.
The citrus greening bacteria probably spread from the cutting of budwood illegally brought in from outside the country, the article says Grafton-Cardwell said.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Asian citrus psyllid, which can spread the bacteria that cause the disease, is already infesting Southern California. Rachael Myrow of the California Report blogged about interviewing Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, in January about his efforts to fight the psyllid by releasing Punjabi wasps.
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at UC Riverside and director of the Lindcove Research & Extension Center, has been educating backyard gardeners and commercial growers how to identify and control the insect.