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Limited Asian Citrus Psyllid Ground Prevention Treatment Scheduled to
Begin for 12 Sites
CDFA Press Release #CDFA08-062- September 16, 2008 9:29 AM

Limited Asian Citrus Psyllid Ground Prevention Treatment Scheduled to Begin for 12 Sites Wednesday, September 17 in San Diego County

SACRAMENTO, September 15, 2008 -Asian citrus psyllid infestations at 12 San Diego County sites are scheduled for treatment Wednesday, September 17 to prevent the spread of the pest. At this time, there are 12 known infested properties in San Diego County - 10 in the South Bay Terrace neighborhood of San Diego-near Sweetwater Reservoir-and 2 in the community of Dulzura, 23 miles away.

The approach will be ground treatments of citrus and closely-related plants with the organic compound Pyganic-already widely used in organic citrus groves-and soil drench with Merit, an imidicloprid, a systemic product that is applied underground rather than sprayed. Imidicloprid is commonly used for flea control on pets. On Wednesday, all of the properties are scheduled for treatment with Pyganic and imidicloprid, with at least two more follow-up treatments with Pyganic, at seven-day intervals.

Residents of all 12 properties will be notified in advance of treatments, as will residents at adjacent properties. The scheduled treatments are another preventive step to protect California's citrus producing regions from the pest. Last week, CDFA announced a quarantine in southern San Diego County to regulate the movement of host plants.

All harvested citrus in the quarantine area must be commercially cleaned and packed before it can be moved out of the area. Nursery host plants may not be moved out of the quarantined area and the movement of cut greens, green waste and citrus fruit will be regulated and enforced by federal, state and county quarantine officials. Residents are urged to consume harvested citrus fruit at home and to refrain from transporting their citrus fruit out of the area.

The states of Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Alabama have all detected the Asian citrus psyllid but not the HLB disease. Florida and Louisiana have detected both the pest and the disease. Since the disease was first detected in Florida in 2005, it has spread to all 32 citrus-producing counties throughout the state. A population of the pest just south of the international border, in Tijuana, is not carrying the disease.

California's $1.1 billion citrus industry ranks second in the U.S. after Florida. California's total citrus production has averaged 3.2 million tons per season over the past three seasons, about 24 percent of the nation's total. California is the nation's main source (80 percent) of fresh-market oranges, while Florida grows oranges mainly for juice. California also supplies 87 percent of the nation's lemons (Source: USDA Economic Research Service).

Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs,
916/654-0462
slyle@cdfa.ca.gov

Bob Atkins, SD County Agricultural Commissioner
858/692-9264