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Asian Citrus Psyllid Control

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The State of California is taking steps to control the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), an exotic pest that can transmit a disease called Huanglongbing (HLB) that devastates citrus trees. Additional information on the threat posed by the ACP and HLB can be found at this website:  http://californiacitrusthreat.org/. Breeding populations of the ACP have been identified in our area and the State will be applying pesticide to citrus trees on residential properties within a 400-800 meter radius of where the insect has been identified. 

As of October 2016, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), will begin fall treatments for Asian citrus psyllid.  This is a new approach for protecting commercial citrus groves which was implemented in January 2016 and is due to ACP becoming established throughout the county.  The new approach requires commercial citrus growers to treat their trees twice a year, in the spring and fall.  It also includes CDFA treating residential citrus trees within 400 meters of a commercial grove.  The county has a total of 13 psyllid management areas (PMA’s).  PMA #1 (map attached), is schedule first.  Residents are invited to an open house on Thursday, October 13, 5:30-7pm at Pacifica Graduate Institute.  This is a voluntary program for residents which means they can choose not to have CDFA treat their citrus tree.  County agriculture department staff will be attending each of the public meetings and monitoring the state application crews.  The Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association will be notifying their members of the scheduled treatments to help with minimizing any risk to their bees.  Please contact Rudy Martel at 681-5600 with any questions.

A map of Montecito and Carpinteria treatment areas is here.

Asian Citrus Psyllid

The Montecito Association Land Use Committee hosted a presentation by Victoria Hornbaker, Citrus Program Manager, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and Cathy Fisher, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner on February 2, 2016 to provide additional information on the program to interested community members.  View their presentation here. We learned about the devastating effects of HLB on the Florida citrus industry and the spread of ACP and HLB in California.  While HLB has not been detected in Santa Barbara County, the CDFA has instituted ACP control plans in Southern Santa Barbara County.  Current efforts are beginning in the Carpinteria area and moving towards Goleta.  Potentially affected property owners will first receive an invitation to an informational meeting.  Subsequently, notice of the CDFA’s intent to spray trees on a property will be posted 48 hours in advance.  Property owners that have questions or wish to opt out of the spraying can contact the CDFA at 800-491-1899.  Information on the pesticides used by the CDFA is available here.  After spraying is complete, CDFA will leave information at the site. 

Because of the threat presented by ACP and HLB, all property owners with citrus trees are asked to be vigilant in inspecting their trees and should not move backyard citrus.  If ACP is seen onsite, you are asked to contact CDFA at the number above.  You can find information on available options that are less harmful to beneficial insect, such as bees, at this link:  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r107304411.html#MANAGEMENT.  Additional information on biological controls is available at the website above and at http://www.rinconvitova.com/.