Agriculture

Feared citrus pest found in Madera County

One of the citrus industry’s most feared pests — the Asian citrus psyllid — has been found in an insect trap in the Madera Lake area.

Stephanie McNeill, Madera County Agricultural Commissioner, said additional traps are being placed in the area to determine if there are more psyllids and a chemcial treatment plan is being developed. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is also expected to issue a quarantine for all citrus plants and fruits within five miles of the find. The movement of plants and fruits applies to homeowners, citrus growers and nurseries.

“The Asian citrus psyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” said McNeill. “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. We want to emphasize citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health.”

This pest poses a serious threat to citrus growers because of its potential to carry the disease huanglongbing. The disease has no known cure and can ruin fruit and kill a tree.

Residents who think they 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: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/.

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