Three new Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) discoveries were recently reported in the south San Joaquin Valley, according to California officials.
Two of the finds were reported in urban settings – an adult psyllid was trapped in a Bakersfield neighborhood and a second psyllid was discovered in a trap in the City of Tulare. A third trap find was reported at a small citrus packing operation east of Dinuba in Tulare County.
The news comes ahead of when University of California citrus expert Beth Grafton-Cardwell expects pest discoveries to begin picking up as new flush begins to form on citrus trees.
Cooler nighttime temperatures will begin to bring on the flush, which Grafton-Cardwell says is a magnate for the invasive pest.
The announcements come after reports of a breeding population of psyllids were discovered in San Luis Obispo County earlier this summer. That announcement forced California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials to establish a citrus quarantine in several San Luis Obispo County locations.
Tulare County is working to establish non-regulatory psyllid management areas as a means to better control the psyllid should it become established in the county. Already several hundred square miles of ACP quarantine are established in Tulare County. Those quarantine zones spill into neighboring Fresno and Kern counties.
The new psyllid management areas are aimed to better coordinate treatment programs for the ACP once the pest is determined to be established in the county, according to California Citrus Mutual Spokesperson Alyssa Houtby.
CDFA officials have been able to test trapped psyllids and live ACP adults and nymphs for Huanglongbing (HLB) and have not found HLB bacteria in the pests.