The quarantine has expanded again for the Asian citrus psyllid, a threat to backyard trees in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and commercial groves to the south.
Three of the insects were found last week near North Union and Lathrop roads, meaning that northwest Manteca has been added to the quarantine zone that already covered other parts of southern San Joaquin County.
Residents in the zones are asked to not move oranges, lemons and other citrus fruit outside the boundaries. If they do, they must first remove the leaves and stems.
The pest can carry a disease called huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening. Infected trees produce bitter, misshapen fruit and eventually die.
“The Asian citrus pyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” county Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican said in the announcement. “We are working to determine the full extent of this infestation so that we can protect our state’s vital citrus industry as well as our backyard citrus trees.”
Spraying will be done on citrus-containing properties within 400 meters of the new finds, following a public meeting with affected residents.
Stanislaus County has three zones, centered on Modesto, Turlock and Oakdale. Merced County has one in the Atwater-Merced area and is at the south end of the Turlock quarantine.
John Holland: 209-578-2385
How to help
- People who believe they have found an Asian citrus psyllid can call 800-491-1899, the state’s pest hotline.
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture describes the psyllid as “3 to 4 millimeters long with a brown, mottled body. The head is light brown. ... The insect is covered with a whitish waxy secretion, making it appear dusty.”
- More information is at www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/acp.