A live Asian citrus psyllid found on a shipment of Mexican limes entering the U.S. June 25 is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s first-ever find on a commercial shipment.
The psyllid was found at the border in Nogales, Ariz., said Tanya Espinosa, spokeswoman for the agency.
An APHIS entomologist confirmed the finding later that day, and that night, the shipment was returned to Mexico, Espinosa said.
Asian citrus psyllids can carry huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening, a disease that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of citrus in Florida and also been found in California, Arizona and Texas.
In April, a different strain of the citrus greening bacterium was found in the U.S. for the first time.
Candidatus liberibacter americanus, also known as Lam/Brazilian citrus greening, was found in a citrus psyllid near Mission, Texas. Before the Texas finding, Lam had only been confirmed in Brazil.
The more common strain of greening is Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus.