SACRAMENTO, December 31, 2010 - All of Ventura County has been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of two psyllids in the eastern and western portions of the county.
The first ACP was detected in a trap in a citrus grove in the La Conchita area, along the coastline. The second was detected in a trap in commercial citrus near the community of Santa Paula, approximately 20 miles east of La Conchita.
The quarantine measures for Ventura County also include 312 square miles of Santa Barbara County, from the county line in the south almost to Goleta, and eastward into mountains in the county.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of host nursery stock out of quarantine areas and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of quarantine areas.
Residents with backyard citrus trees in quarantine areas are asked to not remove fruit from those areas.
CDFA is working with the Citrus Research Board to increase trapping levels in nearby citrus groves in susceptible areas. Agricultural Commissioners' offices in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Riverside counties are also contributing to the cooperative effort to detect any additional ACP.
ACP quarantines are now in place in Ventura, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The pest is of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB). All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health until it dies. HLB has not been detected in trapped Asian citrus psyllids or trees in California.
The state of Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus producing counties in that state. The pest and the disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.
Residents in the area who think they may 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:
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814