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Help Prevent Citrus-Related Disease, Infestations

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The population of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) insects in San Diego County is increasing. Efforts continue in full force to fight the pest, which can transmit the deadly bacterial citrus disease Huanglongbing. Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) is asking residents who grow citrus to inspect their trees monthly and report any suspected psyllids or Huanglongbing-infected trees to AWM’s lab at (858) 614-7738 or CDFA’s hotline at (800) 491-1899. Meanwhile, a quarantine will soon cover the entire region, prohibiting the movement of citrus plants outside the area. AWM continues to monitor 900 ACP traps around the county and coordinates with CDFA, which is treating infested residential sites to control the pest. The County Agricultural Commissioner has also joined with local growers, the Farm Bureau and the Citrus Research Board to form the San Diego County ACP Task Force. The task force’s area-wide campaign, which aims to coordinate treatments and control ACP infestations, is the only hope for prevention of the deadly citrus disease Huanglongbing.

Asian citrus psyllids were first found in the county in 2008. Until this year, the pest was mostly detected south of Interstate 8. However, AWM and CDFA have recently found the pest throughout the county, including in Valley Center, Fallbrook, Rainbow, Escondido, Vista, Oceanside, El Cajon, Santee and Borrego Springs.