The detection of an adult Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) in an insect trap in a residential neighborhood in northeast San Luis Obispo has prompted a high density trapping delimitation survey of the surrounding area. A quarantine restricting the movement of citrus nursery stock and citrus fruit will be established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to prevent the spread of this serious plant pest. Control efforts will take place in the near future in the area immediately surrounding the detection.
This is the second detection of ACP in San Luis Obispo County. The first detection occurred this past March in Arroyo Grande; only a single ACP was detected. Intensive trapping and visual surveys are ongoing, but no additional insects have been detected. However, a quarantine restricting the movement of citrus nursery stock and citrus fruit remains in effect in a five-mile radius surrounding the Arroyo Grande detection site.
The first detection of ACP in California occurred in San Diego County in 2008. Since then, it has been found throughout Southern California. “This insect pest is of serious concern to California’s commercial citrus because it is responsible for spreading Huanglongbing, also called citrus greening disease, a plant disease that is fatal to all types of citrus trees. This includes citrus trees in countless landscapes across the county as well as local commercial citrus orchards valued at over $13 million in 2013,” according to Martin Settevendemie, Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer for San Luis Obispo County. Over the past ten years nearly 50% of the commercial citrus groves in Florida have been killed by this disease. The University of Florida estimates the disease has tallied more than 6,600 lost jobs, $1.3 billion in lost revenue to growers and $3.6 billion in lost economic activity for the state. The disease does not affect human health.
A single citrus tree infected with Huanglongbing was found in a Los Angeles County backyard in 2012. To date no additional detections of the disease in California have occurred.
Staff from the San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner’s office and officials from the California Department of Food and Agriculture continue to search for this pest by monitoring hundreds of insect traps placed in urban neighborhoods and commercial orchards throughout the county.