Translate this page

Second Asian citrus psyllid found in Rainbow

Friday, September 7th, 2012
Issue 36, Volume 16.
Joe Naiman
Valley News Correspondent

San Diego Countyís Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures was notified Aug. 17 that a second Asian citrus psyllid was found in Rainbow.

The North County finds for the week of Aug. 12 to 17 also include three additional Asian citrus psyllids in Valley Center.

"Itís extremely important for everybody to be aware and participate in the control of these psyllids," said county agricultural commissioner Lisa Leondis. "Everybody has to be part of this control program."

The additional finds may not equate to an infestation; after an initial find the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture increase the density of traps and add traps in outlying areas.

"Thereís a lot in South County, but itís not affecting agriculture," Leondis said of the psyllids.

A single Asian citrus psyllid can be a vector of huanglongbing disease which causes tree death, and a psyllid can carry huanglongbing disease from an infected tree to a previously-healthy tree.

"If thereís an infected tree the only solution is to remove that tree immediately," Leondis said. "If they start to feed on the next tree it will bring that disease."

In addition to the economic impact if huanglongbing disease spreads to agricultural orchards, backyard trees are also impacted. Leondis lives in Escondido and has backyard citrus trees, and she notes that such trees are an amenity to many San Diego County residences.

"I just so desperately want to protect that," she said.

The entirety of San Diego County, other than some mountainous areas in the northeast portion, is currently blanketed under an Asian citrus psyllid quarantine.

"Itís okay to move clean citrus fruit. If thereíre no leaves or stems and the fruit is Advertisement
Advertisement for Mason Real Estate
[ Mason Real Estate ]
clean, itís okay to move," Leondis said.

That allows growers of backyard citrus to bring the fruit to friends and relatives provided that the fruit only is transported and has been washed first. "Just make darn sure itís clean," Leondis said.

Growers of backyard citrus periodically trim their trees and place the stems and leaves in yard waste bins. AWM works with waste handlers to ensure that such green waste transport does not spread the presence of the psyllid.

"They have practices to make sure that stuff gets properly handled," Leondis said.

"Itís the live plant moving thatís really the big risk," Leondis said.

Purchasing a citrus tree from a nursery compliant with AWM procedures does not carry a risk. "Any of the host material for ACP (Asian citrus psyllid) is treated," Leondis said. "If you buy from a reputable nursery, youíll be okay."

The first Asian citrus psyllid find in North County occurred in Valley Center in October 2009. A second psyllid in Valley Center was detected in August 2011. Another psyllid in Valley Center was found in July 2012. One psyllid has been found in DeLuz.

Leondis noted that unlike traps for fruit flies which use hormonal scents, no such specific attraction for psyllids is placed in traps. "Theyíre blender traps," Leondis said.

"Thereís nothing there to strongly attract them," Leondis said. "Itís just a matter of luck to catch them."

Leondis noted that citizen caution is critical to the battle against the Asian citrus psyllid.

"We definitely encourage people to be diligent," she said.

"Itís not the pest du jour. Itís the pest that will end our crops and kill our trees," Leondis said. "We really have to control these when theyíre found."



arrow Be the first to share your opinion on this article!

Add your Comment


Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.


The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter

Advertisement for Dan's Got Crabs


Most Commented

Reach Local Customers

The Valley News The Valley News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2015
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds