SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County has been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) after multiple psyllids were located in three cities, the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's Office announced Monday.
Here is the full news release from the Agricultural Commissioner's Office:
Santa Barbara, CA -- All of Santa Barbara County has been placed under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of three psyllids in Santa Maria and five psyllids in Santa Barbara. Recently, a single ACP has also been detected in a trap located in a citrus tree in a residential neighborhood in Goleta. Recently, a single ACP has also been detected in a trap located in a citrus tree in a residential neighborhood in Goleta.
The first ACP was detected in November 2012 in a trap in a backyard citrus tree in a residential neighborhood in Santa Maria. The second was detected a month later in December 2012 in a trap in a backyard citrus tree within a half a mile of the first detection. Also in December, five more psyllids were detected in traps located in citrus trees within a residential neighborhood near Elings Park in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara County is now the fifth county that is entirely under quarantine for ACP and is part of the contiguous quarantine area along with Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and the western regions of San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial counties.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of host nursery stock out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of quarantine area.
Residents with backyard citrus trees in quarantine areas are asked to not remove fruit from the area under quarantine.
ACP is a pest of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB). All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected and diseased trees will decline in health until they die. HLB was detected for the first time in California last year in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County. A residential citrus tree was found to have the disease and was removed from the property and destroyed. There have not been any further detections of the disease in citrus trees in California.
The State of Florida first detected ACP in 1998 and the HLB disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties in Florida and have caused significant losses to their citrus industry. The pest and the disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease.
Residents in the area who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 800-491-1899. For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing disease please visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/.