Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program
Recently, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture discovered Huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening disease, in La Habra and Anaheim. HLB kills citrus trees and has no cure. The disease is not harmful to humans or animals. The disease is spread by a pest called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). ACP is a small insect that feeds on citrus tree leaves, which causes a bacteria called Huanglongbing to spread. If a tree is infected, it can die in as little as five years.
Strategies to Prevent the Spread of ACP
CDFA has implemented multiple strategies to deal with the pest including mandatory eradication, treatments, containment, and release of predatory wasps. A monitoring/detection system is in place for ACP using sticky traps located in host plants to help detect any possible infestations as well. Destruction of HLB infected plants is the current method of eradication for HLB. There are various requirements in place for the movement of host fruit and host nursery stock. The restrictions that the quarantine imposes are that host plants, and portions thereof, cannot move out of the quarantine area. The quarantine prevents the sale of all host nursery stock and the movement of all host plants within a five-mile radius, and it applies to residents and commercial operations.
To help prevent the spread of HLB, the California Department of Food and Agriculture recommends the following actions:
- Keep homegrown citrus at home.
- Regularly inspect your citrus trees and look for any signs of HLB or ACP (please see informational links listed above for ACP host list, pest information, descriptions and distribution).
- Do not move citrus plants, leaves or foliage in or out of your community.
- Talk to your local nursery about products that can protect your tree.
The CDFA's ACP Project handles the regulatory aspects of these requirements (contact information listed below). If you believe you may have ACP, HLB or any other pest, please contact the CDFA Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899. Your information will be documented and tracked by CDFA and they will be able to help determine the pest you have and whether or not someone will need to collect an official sample. This process helps to streamline and prioritize efforts statewide.
Outreach and Public Education Campaign
The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program has produced a series of short videos that provide and introduction to the issue, description of what local agriculture officials are doing in the area, description of the backyard treatment process and a description of the tree removal program if HLB is found. Please visit the following website Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program to view videos and information to help raise awareness about the Asian citrus psyllid and the deadly citrus disease Huanglongbing.
The HLB quarantine map for Orange County is available online: CDFA Website