Little Local Pest Is a Huge Concern

Little Local Pest Is a Huge Concern

Posted:

YUMA - (KSWT News 13) - A small insect is creating a huge concern among state agriculturists. The Asian citrus psyllid is about the size of a grain of rice, and it can carry a disease capable of killing citrus trees.

It was first discovered in San Luis back in 2009, and the state Department of Agriculture stopped the spread of the pest. They monitor their presence by setting traps over a wide area. Until January, only single adult ACPs were found, with no repeat detections.

But multiple detections in the Lake Havasu City area have prompted the state to set up a new twenty mile quarantine in the area.

The disease is harmless to humans, but can kill a citrus tree in three to five years, all the while spreading it to additional insects. A widespread outbreak could wipe out Arizona's $37 million citrus industry.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture is asking people to only buy inspected, certified citrus nursery stock for home planting. They're also asking people not to ship personal citrus plants or fruits unless they've been certified by a State regulatory official.

KSWT-TV Affiliates