A tiny pest capable of carrying a disease that can kill citrus trees has turned up in the heart of California's citrus belt.More >>
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KMPH) -
A quarantine will likely be in the future for several citrus growers in Tulare county, after state inspectors found a third Asian citrus psyllid.
The pest was discovered in a trap in an orange grove near Terra Bella about 80 miles southeast of Fresno.
To the naked eye, the pest is small, but the damage it can cause is enormous for citrus growers in Tulare County, the state's leading orange producer.
Dennis Haynes, Tulare County Agricultural Biologist says, "For those growers who want to ship their fruit outside of the quarantine area to Kern County to parts of Fresno County they will need to follow specific rules.
The fruit has to be cleaned of leaves and stems." Reporter asks, "Which will take more money?" Dennis answers, "Yes, which is more time and more money."
The bug can carry the disease known as HLB, also known as citrus greening.
Once a tree has it, there is no cure.
The bug can pass it to other trees and once it does the fruit grows misshaped, and tastes bitter, making it worthless.
State officials are now launching a treatment plan to kill any more pests in the area.
Wednesday morning a grower, packer, hauler, and processor's meeting will take place at the Tulare Agri-Center to talk about the quarantine that will soon take place.
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