The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has scheduled treatment in Santa Ana for the Asian citrus psyllid pest on Sept. 8.
The treatment will feature a two-pronged approach designed so 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 single treatments.
Citrus trees and host plants will be treated with a ground application of the material Tempo which eliminates Asian citrus psyllids on contact. Then each tree or plant will receive a soil injection of Merit, a systemic treatment that remains 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 Sept. 3 at the Santa Ana High School Faculty Lounge, 520 W. Walnut St., Santa Ana. The 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. meeting is open to the public.
Dozens of Asian citrus psyllids were detected last month in Santa Ana. 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 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.
For more information on the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing visit: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/.