This imported pest munches citrus plants and carries a deadly tree disease.
The Asian citrus psyllid is an aphid-like insect that feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus plants. The psyllid can carry and spread a deadly tree disease called Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening disease. There is no cure for this disease and infected trees will die.
California’s Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program collaborated with the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside to develop a best practices guide for nurseries to use when working with citrus nursery stock to avoid spreading the Asian citrus psyllid.
“It’s not just a California issue – we’ve got problems with ACP in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, many different states,” says Victoria Hornbaker, integrated pest control branch chief for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. “But for us in California, our big concern is we are in the process of trying to slow the spread of the psyllid in our state. The nurseries are a partner with us. Getting the information to the nurseries in as many ways as we can will help us gain the momentum to make sure it’s on their mind.”