A deadly citrus tree pest has once again been detected in San Luis Obispo County.
The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture reported Monday that an adult Asian citrus psyllid was recently caught in an insect trap in a residential area near Arroyo Grande.
The insect is a problem because it spreads citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing, which has killed nearly half of the commercial citrus groves in Florida.
A quarantine restricting the movement of citrus nursery stock and citrus fruit will be established by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. State and local agriculture officials will use traps and other measures in the near future to eradicate the pest.
This is the second detection of the psyllid in Arroyo Grande — in March 2014, a single adult was found, but after trapping studies, no others were detected in Arroyo Grande. Psyillids were found in the city of San Luis Obispo and Cayucos last year as well.
The county Department of Agriculture is asking the community to follow several steps to prevent the potential spread of any of the insects:
- Purchase citrus trees from reputable local sources selling plants that have been routinely inspected by the agricultural commissioner’s staff.
For more information about the Asian citrus psyllid, visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture website at www.cdfa.ca.gov.