CDFA Has Saturated Exeter Area with Extra ACP Detection Traps
The Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s offices announed TODAY that two additional Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) have been detected on one trap south of the city of Exeter. The latest interceptions were confirmed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Maps and current information are available on the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s website.
CDFA has already begun to saturate the affected areas with detection traps in order to determine the extent of any infestation.The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and CDFA will work collaboratively to determine what steps are taken next.
The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. 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,producing bitter, misshaped fruit untilitdies. To date, HLB has been detected on just one residential property in the Hacienda Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Tulare County Ag Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita said that her staff will continue to support the efforts of our $750 million citrus industry, as well as our residential citrus owners. “I want to emphasize that citrus fruit is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health,” said Kinoshita.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen ACPs are urged to call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner.
Media inquiries related to technical questions about Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing (HLB) disease are encouraged to contact Katie Rowland, Account Coordinator for Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Inc. at (661) 817-3638.
The best way to fight HLB is to suppress the spread of ACPs which can carry it. So, California Citrus Research Board hired Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, (NST) a public relations firm, to raise awareness of ACPs and HLB, especially among the many California homeowners with backyard citrus trees who may unknowingly be harboring the pest, and to encourage the public to take necessary steps to save California citrus.
Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program
NST’s comprehensive outreach plan included the formation of a dedicated website; outreach to stakeholder groups; public service announcement development; radio news release distribution; traffic spot placement; elected official education; participation in community events; social media outreach; and heavy media relations, including statewide media tours in English and Spanish. Outreach results include over 100 billion impressions in 2012 alone, briefings with 365 local government and elected officials in 110 cities, and CDFA reported an increase in phone calls to the ACP hotline. For further information, click on CitrusInsider.org and CaliforniaCitrusThreat.org.