San Joaquin Agriculture Commissioner Tim Pelican is working closely with the California Department of Food Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after the discovery of Asian citrus psyllids in San Joaquin County. The psyllids were found in residential neighborhoods in Manteca and Lodi, but due to the close proximity of agriculture in the area, the detections raise serious concerns about the possibility that the pests can spread to those areas.
Separately, no one is exactly sure how it happened, but the discovery of two psyllids in the Bay area is raising eyebrows about the spread of the invasive pest to locations so far north. Prior to this discovery, psyllids were only found as north as San Luis Obispo County and the southern part of Fresno County.
According to the Western Farm Press, since they were first discovered in 2008, the number of counties in Southern California with psyllid detections has steadily grown. It is believed that psyllids began their migration from areas near the Mexican border. Some SOCAL counties like Riverside and San Bernadino are heavily infested and the close proximity of the trees in those areas, may have contributed to its spread into Ventura, Kern and San Luis Obispo counties. It is also believed that humans are largely responsible for the psyllid’s expansion north in addition to movement of plants and equipment and illegal importation.
A third separate detection was made this week in Bakersfield. A single adult psyllid was found in urban Bakersfield. It is the second psyllid discovered in Kern County in a one-month period, and much like the San Joaquin discovery, is considered serious due to the close proximity of citrus in the area.
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