The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s office is announcing that two additional Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) have been detected on traps north of Eckert Field near Strathmore and northeast of Ducor.
The latest interceptions were confirmed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) this morning. Maps and current information will soon be available on the Agricultural Commissioner’s website: http://agcomm.co.tulare.ca.us/default/.
CDFA staff continues to utilize traps and surveys of our county in order to determine the extent of these infestations. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and CDFA will work collaboratively to determine what steps are taken next.
“I heard about the two suspected trap finds on Sunday, but did not receive the locations until today. It seems like time stands still when you are waiting for this type of bad news,” said Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita.
The Asian citrus psyllid is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health, producing bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. To date, HLB has been detected on just one residential property in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Kinoshita points out that every resident of Tulare County plays a vital role in assuring that ACP is not spread from other parts of the state. “One of my neighbors brought over a plastic bag containing citrus fruit and leaves, which showed signs of scale infestation”. She said she wanted to be cautious and not cause harm for our local citrus producers.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner.