AG Watch

Dinuba citrus psyllids not carrying dreaded disease

Monday, September 16, 2013

California will step up its effort to try to contain a pest known to carry a citrus disease. Asian Citrus Psyllids were trapped in Tulare County last week. And the future of the Valley's thriving citrus industry is threatened by a little bug which can carry a disease called Huanglongbing, or HLB.

Last week two psyllids were discovered in traps placed in a Dinuba neighborhood. Ag officials also found several young trees infested with psyllids. Live bugs were taken to a California Department of Food and Ag Lab for Analysis.

"They are negative for HLB which means they do not carry the disease citrus greening so that is very good news. We don't want that in the Valley," Tom Tucker, Assistant Ag Commissioner said.

However, the battle to eradicate the pest continues. Crews from Tulare County and other parts of California will be out in full force to eliminate the pest.

"In that neighborhood they're going to expect to see more of our people hitting their yards, hanging the traps, checking the traps and maintaining that making sure there are not additional finds," Tucker said.

In Tulare County alone citrus represents a $655 million crop. Citrus trees infected with HLB in Florida in the past all died. The disease causes misshapen bitter tasting fruit before the tree dies.

Trees within a half mile radius of the Dinuba find will continue to be treated with pesticide to try to minimize the psyllid's movement.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
ag report, citrus, dinuba, ag watch, dale yurong
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