Psyllids Confirmed in Sonoma County, California

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, Psyllids

California officials have confirmed the presence of HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids in a residential area east of Sonoma. The confirmation came following analysis of a survey trap set by the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture. The county department is coordinating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in responding to the pest’s presence in Sonoma Valley.

Sonoma County
Adult Asian citrus psyllid
(Photo by Jeffrey Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry)

“Discovery of this pest in Sonoma County is serious and warrants a rapid and coordinated response, including cooperation from nurseries and farmers markets to temporarily regulate the movement of fruit and nursery stock,” said Andrew Smith, Sonoma County agricultural commissioner. “While the pest has been encountered in Southern California citrus and there are numerous counties under quarantine, the associated disease has been limited in detection and spread due to early-detection programs.”  

The primary impact on Sonoma County is to production nurseries that buy, grow and sell citrus nursery stock, as well as local Certified Farmers Markets and producers that sell or move citrus fruit or plants. There is only one commercial citrus producer in Sonoma County. 

The CDFA confirmed the pest in December and immediately began a treatment protocol that included visual survey and treatment of host plants within a 50-meter radius of the original location where the find was collected. Delimitation traps were placed in the 4 square miles surrounding the find site at a density of 50 traps per square mile. The delimitation period is 12 months, with traps serviced weekly for the first month, followed by monthly for the remaining 11 months if no more pests are discovered.  

To date, the CDFA has discovered and treated citrus host material on eight properties. Treatment is voluntary and includes the use of contact and systemic insecticides.

The official notice of treatment and proclamation of an emergency program from the CDFA for the communities surrounding the City of Sonoma, including maps and information, are available here.

Source: Sonoma County Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures

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