An Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) sample confirmed positive for Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas) — the bacteria that causes huanglongbing (HLB) — was collected from a commercial citrus grove in the Pauma Valley area of California’s San Diego County. This confirmation marks the first CLas-positive ACP found in a commercial grove in San Diego County and only the second grove detection in California.
The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) announced the detection July 1.
The Asian citrus psyllid sample was collected during a routine commodity survey conducted by Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division (CPDPD) staff. Five adult psyllid samples were pooled and tested for CLas, resulting in confirmation of the bacteria by the laboratory of Citrus Research Board’s Jerry Dimitman. Confirmation was later verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
CPDPD staff is conducting intensive surveys and collecting samples per the ACP/HLB Action Plan from the perimeter of all commercial groves and residential HLB host plants that are located within a 250-meter radius around the find.
While treatment is not mandatory as a result of the detection, all growers within 250 meters of the find site will be notified by their local grower liaisons. The growers will be encouraged to apply insecticides to all HLB host material within the designated area with materials recommended by the University of California (UC).
“It is more crucial than ever that we prevent HLB from potentially impacting commercial citrus groves by working to eradicate ACP populations now,” CPDPP stated. “The cost to manage the ACP is far less than any potential costs or loss to the industry should HLB take hold in our commercial groves and throughout our state.”
CPDPP added that it is critical to follow best practices and review recommendations from the UC on how to protect commercial citrus groves from HLB.
Growers in San Diego County may contact their local Grower Liaison Sandra Zwaal, the county agricultural commissioner’s office or the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Pest Hotline at 800-491-1899 for additional information. Growers seeing or suspecting ACP or HLB symptoms in their groves should notify the CDFA.
Learn more about the HLB prevention effort in California.
Source: Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program
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