Add Kern County to the list of areas under quarantine because of citrus greening.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture this week said the Kern quarantine area measures 113 square miles centered around Bakersfield. It follows the detection of a single Asian citrus psyllid, which can carry the citrus greening disease, south of Bakersfield.
So far, the disease in California has only been found in one residential tree in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County. But the psyllids have spread throughout the region, and a massive quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus fruit and trees out of the area.
Despite the regulatory net, the bug has hitchhiked its way to the San Joaquin Valley, having been caught in insect traps in Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties. To keep the psyllid in check, farmers have sprayed their groves and the state has treated residential trees where the psyllids have been caught.
Quarantine areas in the San Joaquin Valley's citrus belt total about 1,000 square miles.
Residents who think they may have seen an Asian citrus psyllid are urged to call CDFA's Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease, visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.