A pest that is deadly to citrus trees has once again been spotted in San Luis Obispo County.
The County Department of Agriculture said this week that it has found adult Asian citrus psyllids in insect traps in residential neighborhoods of Arroyo Grande and Nipomo.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture will establish quarantines in the area restricting the movement of citrus nursery stock and citrus fruit to prevent the spread of the pest, according to a news release.
Further control efforts will also take place in the near future at the two sites and in the area immediately surrounding the detection sites.
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This is the third time this year that the pests have been found in San Luis Obispo County.
In April, the agriculture department announced a single psyllid was found in another residential area of Arroyo Grande, and in June, officials reported one had been found in a commercial citrus orchard near the Santa Barbara County border.
Psyllids also were found in the city of San Luis Obispo and Cayucos late last year.
The insect is a problem because it spreads a citrus disease called Huanglongbing, which has killed nearly half of the commercial citrus groves in Florida.
The first detection of the pysillids in California occurred in San Diego County in 2008. Since then, they have been found throughout Southern California.
The plant disease does not affect human health, and citrus fruit affected by it is safe to consume.
Staff from the San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and officials from the California Department of Food and Agriculture are continuing to search for the pest by monitoring hundreds of insect traps placed in urban neighborhoods and commercial orchards throughout the county.
For more information about the Asian citrus psyllid, visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture website.