Posted: Jul 29, 2013 5:36 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News
Updated: Jul 30, 2013 4:40 AM
A beetle is threatening California's avocado crop. It's not the ambrosia beetle itself, Virginia Tech researchers explained Monday, it's a fungus the it carries.
They also said they are worried the strains of fungus might create hybrids that could threaten crops and forests around the world.
"It leads to problems like premature fruit drop inadequate develop of fruit there are a lot of yield issues as well as quarantine issues. And of course because it is a food crop, this presents some problems in trying to combat the insect fungus because of regulatory restriction on using insecticides," said Dr. Matthew Kasson, a Virgnia Tech researcher.
The beetles are native to Asia, but traveled to the United States on pallets used to ship goods internationally.
There are surveys being done all over the state because of the beetle's risk to the avocado industry, however currently, there is not an outbreak locally.
The beetle has impacted Los Angeles County crops and has been found in Orange and San Diego counties, said Dr. Kasson.
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