- Author: Chris M. Webb
The tiny Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has the potential to wipe out the California citrus industry. It is a carrier of the deadly bacterial plant disease, Huanglongbing (HLB), which is also known as citrus greening disease. This disease is fatal to citrus trees.
The insect feeds on citrus leaves and stems. Unfortunately, ACP has already been found at several sites in California. It threatens not only the commercial citrus industry, but also the ability of California residents to grow citrus at their homes.
It can take years for the symptoms of HLB to appear. Inspection and elimination of ACP is our first line of defense. Signs of disease include: asymmetrical yellowing and splotching of leaves; new growth is misshapen and twisted; produces bitter, inedible, misshapen fruit.
To help stop the spread of this insect and disease: inspect trees monthly and whenever watering, spraying, pruning or tending to trees; plant only certified disease-free citrus trees from a reputable nursery; do not bring any plant material into California from other states or countries.
At the end of this post you will find a presentation from the Citrus Research Board, provides additional information and photos. Topics covered include: other plants that can be attacked by the psyllid; maps showing locations of pest and disease; ways that the pest moves around; what happens when ACP is detected; how an infestation affects commercial citrus orchards.
If you find the Asian citrus psyliid, call the CDFA hotline at 800.491.1899 right away.
To learn more about the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB disease, or to download printed materials in English, Spanish and Chinese, please visit www.californiacitrusthreat.com.