An additional 197 square miles in Tulare County have been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of three psyllids near Exeter, Lemon Cove and the unincorporated area southeast of Porterville. Along with an additional 37 square miles of quarantine in Kern County, this brings the total quarantined area in the region to 888 square miles.
The expanded quarantine areas, shown in the “Tulare” and “Tulare/Kern” maps are available online at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-quarantine-sjv.
In addition to the quarantines in these portions of Tulare and Kern Counties and nearby portions of Fresno County, ACP quarantines are in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus 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 until it dies. HLB has been detected just once in California – last year on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights in Los Angeles County. HLB is known to be present in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S.
Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in that state. The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity. The disease is present in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease.
Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked to not remove fruit from the area. Residents in the area who think they may have seen the Asian citrus psyllid are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.
For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.