Three adult Asian citrus psyllids were found in a trap Tuesday morning near Kingsburg, Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita said.
The discovery triggered a quarantine of the area due to the insect’s propensity to carry a tree-killing disease known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening. This disease causes plants to produce bitter fruit and eventually die.
This delimitation area will encompass parts of southern Fresno County and northern Tulare County, Kinoshita said. The California Department of Food and Agriculture will survey the area and treat residential properties.
Tulare County began a similar quarantine in late 2012 that grew to include the entire county by late September. This quarantine means that young citrus trees cannot be moved out of the count, and any citrus fruit — including oranges, lemons, tangerines or grapefruit — has to be stripped of leaves and stems before it can leave the county. People who have citrus trees in their yards are also asked not to take fruit out of the county.
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Psyllid findings have triggered similar actions in Bakersfield, Lodi, Manteca and Exeter in the last few months.