The discovery of Asian citrus psyllid shipped in a duffle bag from India to a Fresno, Calif., FedEx facility has prompted the state to conduct a pest survey.
Beginning today, California Department of Food and Agriculture crews will check host materials in the River Park area of northern Fresno, according to a news release. They'll also use a vacuum-like device to sweep host plants.
One of the psyllids found in the duffle bag tested positive for citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or HLB.
Citrus greening can reduce fruit yield, create an off taste in fruit and kill trees in a matter of years.
The half-inch-long psyllid spread the bacterial disease from infected tree to healthy trees.
The pests were discovered in July after a dog trained by the Fresno County Agricutlure Commissioner's office detected curry leaves in the duffle bag.
The dog and its handler are part of six teams that operate in five counties: Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego and San Bernardino.
Four more teams are currently in training and will be deployed by early 2010 in Los Angeles, Santa Clara and San Diego counties.
In 2009, inspectors found infestations of Asian citrus psyllid in San Diego and Imperial counties. Portions of those two counties, as well as a southern part of Riverside County are under quarantine.
The only California psyllid to test positive for citrus greening, which is deadly to citrus trees but harmless to humans, was the one picked up in Fresno last week.
Citrus greening is widespread in Florida citrus and also has been found in a few residential citrus trees in Georgia and South Carolina.