FRESNO (AP) — At least 100 pests capable of carrying and spreading a disease deadly to citrus trees have been found in California’s citrus belt.
The Fresno Bee reported Thursday that the tiny Asian citrus psyllids were discovered this week on residential citrus trees in Tulare County. Two of the psyllids were caught in insect traps in Dinuba, while dozens of others were found on several neighboring trees.
County officials said it’s the most psyllids ever seen in the San Joaquin Valley — the state’s top citrus producer. None of the psyllids found in the valley has tested positive for the deadly bacteria known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing, also called citrus greening.
The disease has decimated the citrus sector in Florida and other parts of the world. California’s $2 billion citrus industry has poured millions of dollars into fighting the psyllid’s spread.