Six adult Asian Citrus Psyllids have been found in an insect trap in a residential neighborhood in Arroyo Grande, the San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday.
Agriculture officials say high-density trapping is underway in the surrounding areas and control efforts will begin soon.
The Asian Citrus Psyllid can spread Huanglongbing, also known as Citrus Greening Disease, which is fatal to all types of citrus trees.
It was first detected in California in San Diego County in 2008. It has since spread throughout Southern California, the Central Valley and some counties in Northern California.
This is the first time Asian Citrus Psyllids have been found in Arroyo Grande west of Highway 101 since December 2017. The insects were found at two sites in Arroyo Grande near Highway 227 over the summer, but county officials say intensive surveys and treatments were conducted and none of the insects have been found in that area since then.
To help detect the insect, hundreds of traps are placed in urban neighborhoods and commercial orchards throughout San Luis Obispo County.
County agriculture officials say local residents can help protect backyard plants and the local citrus industry by doing the following:
- Buy local. Purchase citrus trees from reputable local sources selling plants that have been produced in approved nurseries. Citrus fruit is safe to eat. Support local growers by purchasing fruit from local supermarkets or farmers' markets.
- Do not transport citrus plants or plant parts into the county from other areas.
- Check residential landscaping often for signs of unusual symptoms or strange insects. Contact the local University of California Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener Program at (805) 781-5939 for help identifying unusual plant symptoms or pests.
- If asked, allow the Agricultural Commissioner's staff to place an insect trap in your yard and cooperate with officials if it becomes necessary to exclude or eliminate Asian Citrus Psyllid from San Luis Obispo County.