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Asian citrus psyllid detected in San Francisco

Staff Writer |
The California Department of Food and Agriculture, working in cooperation with the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Agriculture Program, has placed San Francisco County under a plant pest quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) following the detection of one ACP in San Francisco’s Marina District.

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The quarantine is a regulatory program designed to limit the artificial movement of ACP host plants, thereby isolating the insect and stopping the spread of the pest.

Residents with backyard citrus trees in San Francisco are asked not to transport or send citrus fruit or leaves, potted citrus trees, or curry leaves from the quarantine area.

For commercial concerns in San Francisco, the quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry leaf-tree nursery stock, including all plant parts except fruit, out of the quarantine area, and the regulations require that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the quarantine area.

The ACP is an invasive species of grave concern because it can carry the bacteria that causes the disease Huanglongbing (HLB) and can transmit the disease to host plants.

All citrus – including oranges, mandarins, lemons, kumquats, pomelos, and limes, and related plants, such as curry leaf trees, are susceptible hosts for both the insect and disease.

There is no cure once a tree becomes infected with HLB. The diseased tree will decline in health, produce bitter, misshapen fruit, and eventually die. In California, HLB has been detected at residential properties in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. This plant disease does not affect human health.

ACP quarantines are already in place in 27 California counties.

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