Asian citrus psyllid
Asian citrus psyllid

Asian citrus psyllids are slowly expanding their range within Arizona.

The pest, which feeds on citrus, was first found in San Luis, Ariz., in October 2009, according to a news release.

The state established a quarantine and control measures to halt the spread.

Until January of this year, only single psyllids had been trapped for a total of 17. There were no repeat detections at those sites.

Between Jan. 1-March 4, the Arizona Department of Agriculture trapped a total of 54 citrus psyllids at 34 different locations in the Lake Havasu City area, says Laura Oxley, department spokeswoman.

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As a result, the department updated boundaries of the quarantine, which limits movement of citrus plant material.

The new quarantine adds 20 miles around Lake Havasu City in Mojave County.

The Asian citrus psyllid damages citrus trees by sucking plant juices. It also can carry citrus greening, a bacterial disease that's harmless to humans but that can stunt and even kill citrus trees.