SACRAMENTO – January 13, 2016 – Agricultural officials and citrus farmers continue to work with California residents and other stakeholders to control the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a citrus pest of grave concern because it can spread a devastating disease that is fatal to citrus trees – huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.
Quarantines for ACP provide a mechanism for controlling the movement of plants and plant materials that may harbor the insect. These regulations give residents specific information and instructions to help protect citrus trees in their own yards as well as parks and communities.
Here’s an update on expansions of the areas under quarantine in the Central Valley due to recent detections of ACP. In Kern County, following the detection of multiple ACPs in and around the City of Bakersfield, an existing quarantine was expanded by 28 square miles. Due to a single detection of ACP in the Mettler area of Kern County, a new quarantine measuring 114 square miles has been added. In San Joaquin County, a single detection of ACP in an unincorporated area near the City of Stockton expanded an existing quarantine by 94 square miles. And in Madera County, following the detection of one ACP in the Sumner Hill area, an existing quarantine was expanded by 84 square miles. This quarantine zone also takes in a portion of Fresno County along its border with Madera County. The total square miles under quarantine for ACP in Fresno (174), Kern (1,260), Madera (225), Merced (17), San Joaquin (294), Stanislaus (84), and Tulare (4,838) counties is 6,892. The total for the state is 53,087 square miles. The quarantine maps for all counties are available online at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp-maps. Please check this link for future quarantine expansions in these counties. Quarantines in new counties will be announced separately.
ACP county-wide quarantines remain in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura Counties, with portions of Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus counties also under quarantine.
The quarantines prohibit the movement of citrus and curry leaf tree nursery stock, including all plant parts except fruit, out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the quarantine area. An exception may be made for nursery stock and budwood grown in USDA-approved structures which are designed to keep ACP and other insects out. Residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine area are asked not to transport or send citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves from the quarantine area.
Quarantines and related efforts to control the spread of the infestation are important because they allow time for researchers to continue working toward solutions for the disease. All citrus and closely related species, such as curry leaf trees, are susceptible hosts for both the insect and disease. There is no cure once the tree becomes infected, and it will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. In California, HLB has been detected in 2012 and 2015 on residential properties in Los Angeles County. This plant disease does not affect human health.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACP or symptoms of HLB on their trees are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or their local agricultural commissioner’s office. For more information on the ACP and HLB, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.