Environment

More citrus pests discovered in San Luis Obispo

An Asian citrus psyllid, an insect about one-eighth of an inch long that spreads a deadly citrus disease, has been found in San Luis Obispo County.
An Asian citrus psyllid, an insect about one-eighth of an inch long that spreads a deadly citrus disease, has been found in San Luis Obispo County. AP Photo/California Department of Food and Agriculture

County agricultural officials are reporting the detection of more Asian citrus psyllids in San Luis Obispo.

The pest is of concern because it can spread the disease Huanglongbing, also called citrus greening disease. It can be fatal to all kinds of citrus trees. The insects were found in northern San Luis Obispo near the Veterans Hall, where the insect was first detected in August.

Three adult psyllids were found on a single property. The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture has responded with control efforts in the immediate area of the detection, which includes trapping.

“The discovery of additional psyllids is of concern to local citrus producers, residents and regulatory officials,” said Martin Settevendemie, county agricultural commissioner. “The focus of our work will be to continue to monitor for the presence of psyllids through intensive trapping, visual inspection of citrus plants and suppressive treatments to keep this pest out of local commercial citrus orchards and residential landscapes.”

A single tree infected with citrus greening disease was found in a Los Angeles County backyard in 2012. Since then, no additional detections of the disease have been made. The disease does not affect human or animal health and citrus fruit remains safe for consumption.

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