Asian citrus psyllids found near Tulare County, Fresno County border

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parts of Tulare and Fresno Counties will be placed under quarantine and treated for Asian citrus psyllids. The quarantine means any citrus picked in those areas has to be cleaned of all leaves and wiped before it's sent out to help stop Asian citrus psyllids from spreading.

A pest threatening citrus trees has been found again - this time three adult Asian citrus psyllids (ACPS) were found on a trap at the 6000 block of Avenue 400 just outside of Fresno County.

"It is moving slightly to the north/northwest," said Tom Tucker, Assistant Ag Commissioner, Tulare County.

Tucker says a five mile radius will be treated for ACPS by the California Food and Drug Administration stretching into Fresno County. The area will also be placed under a quarantine in hopes of preventing ACPS from spreading. "We don't want this pest to affect California, we don't want it to affect Tulare County, we don't want it to affect our neighboring counties."

Quarantine prevents any citrus plants from leaving the area or being brought into it. In order for citrus to be sent out of the area, it has to be cleaned -- meaning all the stems and leaves need to be removed and the fruit wiped off. "If the pest shows up we need to control it, we need to quarantine the area we need to treat, try to eradicate the pest," said Tucker.

ACPS can carry a disease deadly to citrus plants. Huanglongbing (HLB) causes plants to yellow -- destroying them. More than $8.5 million dollars worth of oranges were grown in Tulare County in 2013 and HLB could cripple the Valley's economy.

Authorities will keep setting traps, checking them and treating areas hoping to stay a step ahead of the pest. Traps can be set both at groves, and on residential trees. If you'd like a trap at your home, contact the Ag Commissioner's office.
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