September 14, 2013

ACP Quarantine Will Extend

Into Fresno County

Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, Les Wright, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that an extensive survey and treatment program has begun in response to the detections of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) near the city of Dinuba in Tulare County.

The recent find in Dinuba is of great concern since 100s of live adults and nymphs were found on nearby trees in the neighborhood. This is the first time live ACPs have been observed on host plants in the San Joaquin Valley. There is now real evidence that there has been a breeding population of the ACP in the valley.

All host plants will be treated within 800 meters of the find; residents within the treatment area will be notified in advance. CDFA will soon establish a quarantine for all citrus plants and fruits within five miles of the find to prevent the movement of host material that may be affected. The prohibition of movement of host plants and fruits will apply to both the homeowner and the commercial citrus grower.

The forthcoming quarantine boundary will extend into Fresno County as far as the city of Reedley. The Fresno County Department of Agriculture is cooperating with the project to ensure that host trees and fruits are not removed from the area under the proposed quarantine.

ACP is a dangerous pest of citrus. The Fresno County Department of Agriculture is in the process of determining the full extent of this incident to protect the state's vital citrus industry, as well as backyard citrus trees. It must be emphasized that citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health.

Homeowners should be aware that they will also be under the forthcoming quarantine order. If someone needs to move host fruit or trees, including pruning and trimmings, they should contact the project to find out how to properly handle them.

This 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 and produce bitter, mis-shaped fruit until it dies. To date- HLB has only been detected in one backyard tree and one psyllid in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles County.

Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 800-491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/.

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