Agriculture

Asian citrus psyllid found south of Porterville

Cora Barrera, a California Department of Food and Agriculture ag tech, uses a magnifier as she searches for Asian citrus psyllids in a citrus grove on private property last year in Fresno.
Cora Barrera, a California Department of Food and Agriculture ag tech, uses a magnifier as she searches for Asian citrus psyllids in a citrus grove on private property last year in Fresno. ezamora@fresnobee.com

An Asian citrus psyllid has been found on a trap in a commercial orange grove south of Porterville, the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office said Tuesday.

The insect, discovered Monday, is feared because it is a carrier of huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening disease, which can kill citrus trees.

The area around the find will be sprayed to kill any other psyllids that might be there, the ag commissioner said.

Although HLB has not been detected in the San Joaquin Valley, it has twice been found in Southern California, including last month on plant material from a kumquat tree.

Tulare County is under a state quarantine, meaning citrus can only be shipped out of the area if precautions are taken to stop the spread of the insect.

Asian citrus psyllid has been found in insect traps in Tulare County about 70 times since late 2010.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold

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