- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Recently I was asked whether the Asian citrus psyllid has been detected in Solano County. Since I wasn't sure, I thought I'd share the news of what I found out. Please see the notice below from the Solano County Agricultural Commissioner from December 2016.
Asian citrus psyllids detected within Solano County
December 27, 2016
SOLANO COUNTY – The Solano County Agricultural Commissioner, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture has begun an extensive survey and treatment program in response to the detection of two Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) within the City of Fairfield on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
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.
"We want to emphasize that citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health," said Jim Allan, Solano County Agricultural Commissioner. “Yes, the Asian citrus psyllid is a dangerous pest to citrus plants, however, we're still working to determine the full extent of this incident so we can protect our state's vital citrus industry, including our backyard citrus trees.”
The pest is especially harmful to citrus because it can carry the huanglongbing (HLB) disease. All citrus plants 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, produce bitter, misshaped fruit and eventually die.
To date, HLB-infected psyllids and plants have been detected in the unincorporated area of Hacienda Heights and within the City of San Gabriel, both within Los Angeles County. Infected psyllids have also been found in La Puente and Cerritos, but no infected plants have been found in those areas.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture will soon establish a quarantine for all citrus plants and fruits within a five-mile radius of ACP in order to prevent the movement of host material. Any future restrictions on the movement of host plants and fruits will apply to the homeowner, renter, commercial citrus grower and nurseries.
The state of Florida first detected the Asian citrus psyllid in 1998 and HLB disease in 2005. Since that time, both the pest and the disease have been detected in all 30 citrus producing counties in the state of Florida. Data suggests that between 1998 and 2012 ACP and HLB has caused the loss of more than 6,600 jobs and $1.3 billion in lost revenue to the citrus industry. The cumulative impact equates to the loss of more than $3.6 billion in total economic activity.
The Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing has also been found in the states of Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease.
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 ACP and HLB disease visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp