The dreaded Asian citrus psyllid continues to bug central San Joaquin Valley citrus growers as a state-issued quarantine spreads into Fresno County.
The quarantine was implemented after three Asian citrus psyllids were found last month in an insect trap in an area between Dinuba and Delft Colony. The quarantine expansion into Fresno County measures about 30 square miles. All of Tulare County remains under quarantine as a result of previous psyllid detections.
The quarantine area in Fresno County is bordered on the north by East Lincoln Avenue; on the south and east by the Fresno County boundary line; on the west by a step-shaped line that runs from Zediker Avenue in the south to north of Orange Cove. The quarantine map is available online at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-qmaps.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry tree nursery stock out of the area. It also requires that all citrus fruit be free from ACP prior to moving out of the quarantine zone. The only exception is nursery stock and budwood grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved protective structures. Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked not to move citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees or curry leaves out of the zone.
County-wide quarantines are now in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties, with portions of Fresno, Kern, Madera, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties also under quarantine.
The psyllid is a serious threat to California’s citrus industry because of its potential to carry a tree-killing disease known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening. All citrus and closely related species, such as curry trees, are hosts for both the insect and disease.
There is still no cure for citrus greening and once a tree becomes infected, it will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the psyllid or symptoms of the disease on their citrus trees can call CDFA’s Invasive Species Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.