The California Department of Food and Agriculture has expanded quarantine for a tiny pest to protect citrus trees. The department said on Friday that an area of 13 square miles has been added to the Asian citrus psyllid quarantine in Tulare County in the wake of a psyllid found in that area. West of Porterville is the additional territory.
Now, 746 square miles have come under quarantine in Tulare County after the pest raised concerns over safety of citrus trees. Psyllid is a pest capable of carrying a bacteria that can be deadly for citrus trees. Florida's citrus industry has suffered destruction because of the pest. However, only one psyllid has been tested positive for the bacteria so far in Southern California.
The bacteria in question is huanglongbing (HLB). California officials have been trying to make efforts to prevent the spreads of Asian citrus psyllids because there is no cure for HLB or a way to immunize trees against it.
CDFA officials have added quarantines on the movement of commercial and home-grown citrus in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.
Although only one HLB-infected psyllid has been found in Southern California so far, but state officials have said that the insects caught in the trap were already dead, thus could not be determined if they were not infected with the bacteria. Officials have provided an online map of the quarantine zone at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/acp-quarantine-sjv.