Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , email@example.com
Detection Marks First Time Huanglongbing Has Been Found in Ventura County
SACRAMENTO – October 3, 2023 – CDFA has declared a quarantine in Ventura County following the detection of the citrus disease Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, in two citrus trees on one residential property in the city of Santa Paula. These detections are the first HLB-positive trees in Ventura County. CDFA is working with the USDA and the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner on this cooperative project.
The detection will require a mandatory five-mile-radius quarantine area around the find site to restrict the movement of citrus fruit, trees, and related plant material. The quarantine area is bordered on the north by Ojai Road; on the south by E Los Angeles Avenue; on the west by Wells Road; and on the east by Balcom Canyon Road. HLB quarantine maps for Ventura County are available online at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/citrus/pests_diseases/hlb/regulation.html. Please check this link for future quarantine expansions, should they occur. An HLB quarantine area currently exists in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, where more than 6,300 trees have tested positive for the disease and have been removed.
This quarantine prohibits the movement of all citrus nursery stock, host plants, or plant parts out of the quarantine area. Provisions exist to allow the movement of commercially cleaned and packed citrus fruit. Fruit that is not commercially cleaned and packed must not be moved from the property on which it is grown, although it may be processed and/or consumed on the premises. This includes residential citrus such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit and kumquats.
Residents are urged to take several steps to help protect citrus trees:
• Do not move citrus plants, leaves or foliage into or out of the quarantine area or across state or international borders. Keep it local.
• Cooperate with agricultural officials placing traps, inspecting trees and treating for the pest.
• If you no longer wish to care for your citrus tree, consider removing it so it does not become a host to the pest and disease.
HLB is a bacterial disease that affects the vascular system of citrus trees and plants. It does not pose a threat to humans or animals. The Asian citrus psyllid can spread the bacteria as the pest feeds on citrus trees and plants. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure; the tree will produce bitter and misshaped fruit and die within a few years.
CDFA staff are scheduling removal of the infected trees and are in the midst of surveying citrus trees within a 250-meter radius around the detection site to determine if any other trees are infected with HLB. A treatment program for citrus trees to reduce Asian citrus psyllid infestations will also be conducted within 250-meters of the find site. By taking this action, a critical reservoir of the disease and its vectors will be removed, which is essential to protect surrounding citrus from this deadly disease.
CDFA, in partnership with the USDA, local County Agricultural Commissioners, and the citrus industry, continues to pursue a strategy of controlling the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid while researchers work to find a cure for the disease.