Inspectors have found the Asian citrus psyllid in both residential locations and a commecial citrus grove in Imperial County, Calif., near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The discovery has prompted the California Department of Food and Agriculture to implement a quarantine that will restrict plant movement from wholesale and retail nurseries within 5 miles of each find, according to a news release.
The pest, which can carry citrus greening, was discovered at a residence near Ocotillo and one west of Seeley. The state will treat the properties with Tempo (cyfluthrin), a pyrethroid insecticide, and a soil drench of imidacloprid.
The commercial citrus grove is south of Seeley. The Imperial County agriculture commissioner's office is discussing possible treatment options with the grove owner.
Inspectors collected samples of the psyllid for testing to determine whether they carry the greening bacterium. Plant samples also were collected for testing to determine whether the trees were infected with the disease.
Citrus greening, also called huanglongbing or HLB, is deadly to citrus tress but harmless to humans. Once trees are infected with the bacterium, there is no cure. Infected trees yield less fruit, and what they do yield has an off taste. Eventually the trees die.
Greening is endemic to Florida and was found in one residential citrus tree in Orleans Parish, La. The tree has since been destroyed.
Earlier this summer, CDFA confirmed Asian citrus psyllid in San Diego County. In addition to Florida and Lousiana, the pest also has been found in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Alabama. It also has been found in Tijuana, Mexico, just south of the U.S.-Mexico border.
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