San Diego County reported its first confirmed presence of the bacteria that causes huanglongbing (HLB) disease in citrus.
Even though Asian citrus psyllids (ACP), the vector for huanglongbing disease, are well established in Southern California, the deadly disease has not been detected south of the quarantine area that includes most of the Los Angeles basin.
However, during a California Department of Food and Agriculture routine trap check over the holidays, an Asian citrus psyllid tested positive for the bacteria that causes the disease. The insect was located in a residential area of the city of Fallbrook in San Diego County. Fallbrook is roughly about an hour south of the southern border of the current HLB quarantine region in Orange County.
Under CDFA’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) protocol, the division will now conduct more intensive samples in a 250-meter radius around the detection site. Division officials stated in a release that quarantine zones won’t be expanded yet however CLas-positive ACP detections often precede positive HLB detections in surrounding citrus.
The CPDPP reminds everyone that until a more permanent solution can be found, limiting the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid is critical to keep the disease from rapidly spreading through the state. Resources, including current maps and quarantine rules, can be found at CitrusInsider.org.
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