The Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture are conducting an extensive survey program in response to the detection of one Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in a lemon tree on a residential property within the City of Modesto in Stanislaus County. This is the fourth detection of ACP in the County, two psyllids were found in Turlock in October 2015 and a single psyllid was found in Oakdale in December 2015.
The psyllid trapped in Modesto was confirmed on Tuesday, June 14. To establish the extent of the infestation in the Modesto area, an increased number of yellow sticky panel traps are being placed in citrus trees in a 9 square mile area around the initial detection site. This extends to an area bordered by Morrill Road, Roselle Avenue, Crawford and Litt roads just outside Riverbank.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has established a quarantine for all citrus plants and fruits within a five mile radius of the find, to prevent the movement of host material. The prohibition of movement of host plants and fruits applies to both the homeowner and the commercial citrus grower. The quarantine map for Modesto in Stanislaus County will be posted to this link: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/regulation.html. Check this link for future quarantine expansions in Stanislaus County, should they occur.
Although the Asian citrus psyllid is a very small insect, approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch long, it is 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 and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. To date, HLB has been detected in the unincorporated area of Hacienda Heights and within the City of San Gabriel both within Los Angeles County.
“The Asian Citrus psyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” said Milton O’Haire, Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner. “We’re working to determine the full extent of this incident so that we can protect our state’s vital citrus industry as well as our backyard citrus trees. We want to emphasize citrus fruit is safe to eat, the disease is not harmful to human health and the HLB disease has not been detected in Stanislaus County. With the public, the agricultural industry and government working together, we hope to prevent the harm this invasive species can cause.”
The state of Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus producing counties in the state of Florida. The pest and disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. The states of Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Mississippi have detected the pest but not the disease. Following the first detection of ACP in San Diego County California in 2008, the Asian citrus psyllid has been detected in 21 counties in California including the San Joaquin Valley counties of Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Madera, San Joaquin, Merced and Stanislaus.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp/ .