Psyllid find prompts hold order for parts of Tulare County

07/25/2013 04:03:00 PM
Coral Beach

Asian citrus psyllidCourtesy Agriculture Research ServiceCalifornia officials have not found any additional pests after deploying hundreds of traps after the mid-July discovery of six Asian citrus psyllids in three commercial orchards in Tulare County.

However, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has imposed a hold on plant stock within 5 miles of each location where the pests were found, said Steve Lyle, CDFA spokesman.

The hold applies to commercial nurseries and packinghouses, but Lyle said it does not apply to fruit.

Lyle said July 25 the state department is working with federal and county officials to determine whether a quarantine is necessary and what area it might include.

In the meantime, Lyle said the department has begun issuing compliance agreements with companies in the hold area so they can move plant stock from their property.

The agreements require plants to have been treated and tagged, Lyle said, and allow movement of them only within 5 miles of the specific spots where the psyllids were trapped.  

Locations of recent Asian citrus psyllid finds in Tulare County, Calif.Courtesy Tulare CountyThe bright green indicators on this partial map of Tulare County, Calif., show the where Asian citrus psyllids were found in mid-July. One location (top right) is north of Highway 190 and all three are east of Highway 65, which runs north and south along the left side of the map.All three locations where the psyllids were found are east of the Highway 65 corridor and south of Porterville, Calif. One of them is north of Highway 190.

In an emergency proclamation issued by the CDFA July 17, the department outlined its action plan for containment.

The plan called for visual inspections of residential property in Porterville and all property within 800 meters of the traps where the pests were found in mid-July.

Lyle said those visual inspections are complete and no additional pests were found. Officials will continue to monitor traps for signs of new pests.

The discovery of the six psyllids came less than a month after the state lifted restrictions on Tulare County on June 17.

Those restrictions were imposed when Asian citrus psyllids were found in the Lindsay, Strathmore and Terra Bella areas in October and November of 2012. The restrictions covered two zones and totaled 163 square miles.

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