Dangerous citrus pest expanding in the Valley
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The latest discovery of a pest with the potential to devastate the Valley citrus crop caught ag officials by surprise. Two Asian citrus psyllids were found in traps in a Dinuba neighborhood on Tuesday.
But entomologists checked three young trees in the backyard of a home next door and discovered an infestation of what appeared to be psyllids in various stages of development.
Fresno County Ag Commissioner Les Wright explained, "This is the first find where we've got a breeding population. All of our other finds were just an adult psyllid in a trap. This certainly ratchets up our concerns."
Psyllids can spread a citrus tree killing disease called huanglongbing. It hasn't been determined if the pests carried HLB but Tulare County ag officials were disappointed because this latest find comes after six psyllids were found in the Porterville area in July.
Tulare County Assistant Ag Commissioner Tom Tucker said, "We believed we had ACP pretty well stopped in its tracks at that point and to find them again further north was not something we wanted to see."
A half-mile area around the find was treated with pesticide. The California Department of Food and Ag will set more traps in a five mile perimeter. The quarantine area for the first time will extend into Fresno county, in Reedley.
Tucker said, "Nobody wants to have a quarantine in their area."
But it's necessary to stop the spread of the pest. Wright said homeowners can help in the battle by checking the new growth of their backyard orange and lemon trees for evidence of the psyllid. Wright explained the process, "Get really close and you'll see a waxy looking substrate on the leaves and stems. You're gonna see that before you see the insect itself."
The state is expected to announce the five mile quarantine by next week along with plans for more trapping and treatment.
ag report, citrus, citrus - lemon, citrus - lime, citrus - mandarin, citrus - orange, citrus - tangerine, ag watch, dale yurong
- Target: 40M card accounts may be breached 45 min ago
- Operation Bulldog cracks down on gang members
- Fresno attorney reenacts testimony from Kai
- Man accused of killing Los Banos boy in crash changes plea
- Homicide investigated at Porterville Developmental Center
- Valley schools prepare for new transgender law
- Valley business gear up for next Fresno State game
- FUSD improves nationally but still behind peers
- Wood burning contributes to bad air quality in the Valley
- Bad air keeps some Valley students indoors
- Health Watch: Pinpointing prostate cancer
- The new year will mean a new sheriff for Merced County
- Ex-BP engineer convicted on 1 obstruction charge
- Public tickets to the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl sold out
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos