The dreaded Asian citrus psyllid continues to bug some central San Joaquin Valley citrus growers as a state-issued control protocols spreads into Fresno County.
The controls were 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.
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.
The rules prohibits the movement of citrus and curry tree nursery stock out of the area. It also requires that all citrus fruit be free from Asian citrus psyllid prior to moving out of the control 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 affected area are asked not to move citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves out of the control zone.
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The SAVE OUR CITRUS app is a free iPhone application from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that makes it easy to report and identify the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. Report your symptoms, upload a photo and receive a response back from citrus experts.
Get information about these citrus diseases and affected areas in the United States. The app includes information and diagnostic tools for all four diseases. Make sure your citrus is healthy and help stop the spread of these incredibly destructive citrus diseases.
Contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture Toll-Free Pest Hotline (800-491-1899) to report suspicious insects or disease symptoms in your citrus trees. Help us protect California agriculture from invading pests and diseases.
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