Californians are checking new growth on citrus for Asian citrus psyllid

Mar 9, 2016

The Asian citrus psyllid is public enemy No. 1 at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Exeter, reported Dale Yurong on ABC30 Action News in Fresno. Yurong visited Lindcove to interview UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell, who along with other UC ANR experts is calling on Californians to join the fight against the pest.

"Basically, you just look really closely (at new growth) with any kind of magnifying device you have to see if you can find any insects on there," Grafton-Cardwell said.

If tiny yellow eggs, sesame seed-sized nymphs, or ACP adults are found, take action. Maps, treatment protocols and other information that detail what to do when ACP is present are available at

Since ACP can spread the devastating citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), controlling the insect population will buy time for researchers working around the world to find a way to grow healthy and delicious citrus fruit in the presence of HLB.

Yurong reported that the disease has been found in a dozen Southern California trees. Grafton-Cardwell figures Valley trees will ultimately get infected.

"HLB is going to come. We fully expect it to come up here because it rides in the bodies of the psyllids," she said.

Reed Fujii of the Stockton Record interviewed Karey Windbiel-Rojas, a UCCE advisor for home and garden integrated pest management, for a story on Asian citrus pysllid.

“It's really important to detect Asian citrus psyllid in backyard trees because one psyllid can carry the disease from tree to tree in a residential landscape,” Windbiel-Rojas. “Citrus growers, they treat all their fields, but home gardeners don't necessarily treat or monitor their backyard trees so it can spread a lot faster in backyards than in managed citrus orchards.”

Stories about the call to check trees this spring for Asian citrus psyllid also appeared in:

View a four-minute video about Asian citrus psyllid here:

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist