The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has scheduled treatment of citrus trees in the Montclair/Upland areas of San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties for the Asian citrus psyllid pest beginning on Dec. 6.

Adult Asian citrus psyllids were detected in traps in Upland on Oct. 15 and in Montclair on Nov. 2. Both locations are inside previously declared quarantine areas. The pest is of grave concern because it can carry the disease huanglongbing (HLB). All citrus and closely related species are susceptible hosts for both the insect and the disease. There is no cure once a tree becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health until it dies.  HLB has not been detected on trees in California.

The treatment will feature a two-pronged approach and is designed so that each property in the treatment area may be visited by CDFA crews just once, as long as no additional Asian citrus psyllids are detected. CDFA has had success controlling the pest population with this treatment regimen.  

Citrus trees and host plants within 400 meters of the sites where the pest was detected will be treated with a ground application of the material TempoTM, which will eliminate Asian citrus psyllids on contact, and then each tree or plant will receive soil injection with MeritTM, a systemic treatment that will remain active to guard against psyllids for an extended period of time.

As always, the treatment will be conducted with the oversight of Cal-EPA and will be conducted safely, with advance and follow-up notices to residents in the treatment area.

An informational open house to discuss the treatment plan is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Magnolia Park Recreation and Community Center, 651 W. 15th Street, Upland, Calif. The meeting will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is open to the public.  Federal, state and local agricultural officials will be present to discuss the infestation and treatment plans.

The state of Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus producing counties in that state. The pest and the disease are also present in Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina. The states of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama have detected the pest but not the disease. 

If you suspect you have ACP on your citrus tree or have seen evidence of it in the area, please call our toll-free Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.  For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/