The San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has already begun an extensive survey in response to the detection of three Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP) within the City of Manteca.
The three ACPs found in Manteca were detected on Tuesday, Sept. 13 near North Union Road and Lathrop Road. These finds were adjacent to an existing delimitation area for ACP in Manteca that was initiated in 2014. The delimitation will now expand to a Northwest area of Manteca due to these finds. As a result, the next steps that will be taken include the deployment of additional traps in the area and the performance of a visual survey to determine if there is an infestation. Treatment activities will be carried out on properties containing citrus within 400 meters of the find sight. A public meeting will be scheduled in advance of any treatment activity. This detection will result in an expansion of the current quarantine already existing in the southern section of San Joaquin County stretching from the eastern County border near Escalon west to the Alameda County line near the City of Tracy.
“The Asian Citrus Psyllid is a dangerous pest of citrus,” said Tim Pelican, San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner. “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. Working together we can prevent the spread of this invasive species and the harm it can cause.”
While San Joaquin County has very little commercial citrus there is a $10.7 billion dollar industry statewide not counting the nursery industry, which has increased significantly in some of neighboring counties in recent years.
“It is our duty to not only help protect the industry in our nearby counties but also the citrus that many of us grow in our own backyards,” concluded Commissioner Pelican.
The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the disease Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. ACP is found in tropical and subtropical Asia, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Reunion, Mauritius, parts of South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and in the U.S. (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas). ACP was first found in California on Aug. 27, 2008 in San Diego County. In recent years, it has spread to Kern, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Merced and Stanislaus counties in the San Joaquin Valley. 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, the diseased tree will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. The citrus is safe to eat and the disease is not harmful to human health.