The following press release was distributed by Stanislaus County's Agricultural Commissioner's Office on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015.
Two Asian citrus psyllids were confirmed on Monday, October 26, 2015. To establish the extent of the infestation, an increased number of yellow sticky panel traps are being placed in citrus trees in a 9 square mile area around the initial detection site. A treatment program will be carried out on all citrus host plants within 400 meters surrounding the site where the insects were trapped. Residents in the treatment area will be notified in advance of any treatment.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture will soon establish a quarantine for all citrus plants and fruits within a five mile radius of the detection site, to prevent the movement of host material that may be affected. The upcoming prohibition of movement of host plants and fruits will apply to homegrown citrus and commercial citrus growers.
Although the Asian citrus psyllid is a very small insect, approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, it 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 and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. To date, HLB has been detected in the unincorporated area of Hacienda Heights and within the City of San Gabriel both within Los Angeles County.
“The Asian Citrus psyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” said Milton O'Haire, Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner. “We're working to determine the full extent of this incident so that we can protect our state's vital citrus industry as well as our backyard citrus trees. We want to emphasize citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health. With the public, the agricultural industry and government working together, we hope to prevent the harm this invasive species can cause.”
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 the state of Florida. The pest and disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease. The Asian citrus psyllid has now been detected in 16 counties in California including the San Joaquin Valley counties of Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Madera, San Joaquin and Stanislaus.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease visit http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/ or UC IPM's Pest Note on ACP and HLB.