Texas enlists homeowners in battle against citrus greening

03/04/2013 12:26:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

State and federal officials in Texas are asking homeowners to be on the lookout for Asian citrus psyllids and the disease they carry, citrus greening.

They will hold an informational meeting for homeowners from 6-8 p.m., March 7, at the San Juan Memorial Library, according to a news release.

Although Asian citrus psyllids have been found for several years in South Texas, the only trees found infected with citrus greening have been in the San Juan area.

The trees have been destroyed, but 21 citrus psyllids have tested positive for the citrus greening bacterium.

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Citrus Greening Section

The organism, which is harmless to humans, can stunt and even kill citrus trees.

These "hot" psyllids have been collected from throughout the Texas Rio Grande Valley from Brownsville to Mission.

"What we don’t know is where these psyllids are picking up the disease,” Barbara Storz, an Edinburg-based Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, said in the release.

And it's because the source could be anywhere that AgriLife Extension, the city of San Juan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M-Kinigsville and Texas Citrus Mutual are asking for homeowner's help.

They recommend a soil-drench insecticide for trees on which homeowners find Asian citrus psyllids.

Homeowners who suspect a tree has citrus greening should call Texas AgriLife Extension at (956) 383-1026.

For more information on Asian citrus psyllids, including materials approved for their control, visit http://hidalgo.agrilife.org.



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