Madera County and state agricultural officials are stepping up their insect trapping efforts after a single Asian citrus psyllid was found just southeast of the city of Madera.
The pest poses a serious threat to the citrus industry because of its potential to carry huanglongbing, a deadly plant disease.
Stevie McNeill, Madera County Agricultural Commissioner, said the insect was found in a homeowner’s citrus tree in the Bonadelle Ranchos area. Additional traps are being place in the area to determine if there are any more insects are in the area. All host plants will be treated within 800 meters — about half a mile — of the psyllid find by the state. Residents within the treatment area will be notified in advance.
“We’re working to determine the full extent of this incident so that we can protect the state’s vital citrus industry as well as backyard citrus trees,” McNeill said. “We want to emphasize citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health.”
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 1 (800) 491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease, visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/.