SACRAMENTO, January 16, 2019 – The California Department of Food and Agriculture, working in cooperation with the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Agriculture Program, has placed San Francisco County under a plant pest quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of one ACP in San Francisco’s Marina District. The quarantine is a regulatory program designed to limit the artificial movement of ACP host plants, thereby isolating the insect and stopping the spread of the pest. A map is available online at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/regulation.html.
The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the bacteria that causes the disease Huanglongbing (HLB) and can transmit the disease to host plants. All citrus – including oranges, mandarins, lemons, kumquats, pomelos, and limes, and related plants, such as curry leaf trees, are susceptible hosts for both the insect and disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected with HLB. The diseased tree will decline in health, produce bitter, misshapen fruit, and eventually die. In California, HLB has been detected at residential properties in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. This plant disease does not affect human health.
ACP quarantines are already in place in 27 California counties. 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 San Francisco County Agricultural Commissioner at 415-252-3830. For more information on ACP and HLB, please visit: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/acp.
Residents are urged to follow these steps:
• Inspect trees for the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing symptoms monthly, and whenever watering, spraying, pruning, or tending trees. Psyllids are most noticeable when new leaves are growing on the tips of the branches.
While ACP and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the vast majority are found in urban and suburban communities. The most common pathway for these invasive species to enter our state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers as they return from infested regions of the world. To help protect California’s agriculture and natural resources, CDFA urges travelers to follow the Don’t Pack a Pest program guidelines (www.dontpackapest.com).
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814