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CA, USA: Asian citrus psyllid

 

 

Asian citrus psyllid pest expands California base

Pest extends as far north as Bay Area-northern San Joaquin Valley

What is in this article?:

  • Latest psyllid discovery in the city of Turlock
  • Breeding population of ACP found in Bakersfield
  • Kern County discovery includes commercial citrus grove
Commercial citrus could be quarantined for ACP

Commercial citrus near the General Beale Road area of Kern County could soon be in a quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid due to a recent spike in the pest population in the area.

 

Asian citrus psyllids are found in larger numbers in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California. This time in considerable numbers in the city of Bakersfield and now in the Stanislaus County city of Turlock.

The latest finds mark the first discoveries of the invasive pest in Stanislaus County, according to Milton O’Haire, county agricultural commissioner.

The Stanislaus County find follows discoveries in neighboring San Joaquin County a year ago. Those followed earlier finds of a breeding population in San Jose.

The Turlock discoveries were confirmed on yellow sticky traps used by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). No live psyllids have been discovered at this point, O’Haire says.

Sampling protocols are different than in other portions of the SJV, he says.

Sticky traps are being placed on trees within nine miles of the initial find and are being saturated throughout the region as inspector’s canvas neighborhoods looking for citrus plants. The ACP is only known to feed on and infect citrus with a fatal bacterial disease called Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening disease.

O’Haire says the process is being slowed by canvassing the neighborhood to inspect yards for citrus trees.

Treatment of citrus plants will take place within 400 meters of the initial find, not the 800 meters common in other regions of the state. A quarantine zone is being prepared to encompass a five-mile radius of the discovery. Traps will be placed out to a radius of nine miles.

While the nearest commercial citrus is a considerable distance away in the western portion of the county, O’Haire says two large commercial nurseries in neighboring cities and perhaps two more that could be built in the county may be impacted by quarantines as they are established.

O’Haire says the two large nurseries are already screened and employ protocols to keep out the ACP, which can vector HLB by feeding on citrus.

Stanislaus County agricultural officials are increasing their inspections of flea markets, farmers markets and other venues where citrus is commonly sold to ensure quarantine regulations are met and that the pest is not present in trees or on plant material.

“Our biggest concern right now is home-grown citrus,” O’Haire said.

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