- Author: Leonard Cicerello
- Editor: Noni Todd
Controlling Asian Citrus Psyllid
By Leonard Cicerello UCCE Master Gardener
Is Asian citrus psyllid still a problem for citrus in California? Greg, Los Osos
Efforts to detect the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in California, including San Luis Obispo County, is ongoing. These psyllids can infect trees with Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease which can kill trees in about five years. The most recent HLB find was confirmed in Riverside County in July 2017. The psyllid has been found in various locations in San Luis Obispo County, however, HLB has not.
Both commercial orchards and citrus trees in yards and other landscapes are equally at risk. County Ag departments continue to hang yellow sticky traps on citrus trees in urban areas and in commercial orchards and check regularly for signs of the pest. They also inspect flushes of new growth, the preferred location for ACP.
If you have a citrus tree in your yard or commercial landscape, you can help. Volunteer to have a sticky trap placed in your tree if one is not yet in place. Call the County Ag Commissioner's office at 805-781-5910 and sign up for the trapping program.
Inspect your trees regularly for any signs of feeding damage and the psyllid. Look for new flush that's twisted. Look for eggs, nymphs and waxy tubules among that twisted new growth. Look for feeding adults that sit at a 45 degree angle with their head down and abdomen up.
If you're looking to plant new citrus, purchase only from local licensed nurseries and use only certified budwood. Visit the Citrus Clonal Protection Program for more information.
Avoid moving citrus trees, fruit, or cuttings between counties and states, not even with friends and family. This is the quickest way to spread insects and disease.
Managing the psyllid is a key step in preventing the disease. HLB has devastated the Florida citrus industry resulting in an estimated loss of 7,500 jobs per year and $3 billion in lost revenue. Help protect California citrus to avoid a similar fate.
If you suspect the presence of ACP, secure any evidence in a clear glass jar, plastic bag or container and contact the CDFA pest hotline - 1-800-491-1899./span>