Research is looking at what we can learn from the Asian citrus psyllid’s (ACP) history, specifically ACP movement throughout Southern California. Psyllid finds in Central California are mimicking the insect’s history of spread.
University of California, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources held it’s California Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Research and Extension Summit at UC Riverside. The summit was lead by a session on vector management and biology. Cooperative Extension Specialist Matt Daugherty discussed his research on what we can learn from Asian citrus psyllid movement and it’s history in California.
Daugherty said it is fairly clear that early on detection of the psyllid in the state was due to human transportation as it was found just off the main thoroughfares in the southern most counties. However the patterns shifted as it moved into San Bernadino and Riverside Counties. “It really indicates that it probably first arrived in the region by people moving it inadvertently but then it is certainly able to move on it’s own and spread naturally,” Daugherty said.
That’s what’s concerning about the recent findings along the Highway 99 corridor in Tulare County. “We were hoping it would take longer to arrive in the Central Valley because we have this nice, natural barrier in the Grapevine,” Daugherty said. “Unfortunately, and I think this is very much an inadvertent thing, it’s moved over those hills because people are moving plants, fruit or whatever.”
The industry hopes that management efforts will keep those Central Valley finds at bay and citrus growers won’t see the natural spread occur like it did in Southern California.