Pesticide spray ban could assist spread of huanglongbing disease

Mar 2, 2018

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge has ordered California agricultural officials to stop spraying pesticides in parks, schools and residents' backyards to control pests that threaten the ag industry, reported Gregory Mohan in the Los Angeles Times

CDFA issued a statement saying it will consider appealing the case, and will continue to conduct spraying "in compliance with" state environmental laws.

Julia Mitric of Capital Public Radio spoke to UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell about the ruling. Grafton-Cardwell said it's a "huge setback."

She said spraying trees to control Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads the devastating huanglongbing disease of citrus, is crucial to buy time for scientists to develop long-term solutions to the threat.

"The state has managed to contain it to three counties in California — for the moment," Cardwell said. "But it's starting to spread very rapidly and so it's the most critical point in time to limit the psyllid spread."


By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist