Santa Barbara
70° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
53° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
53° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
58° F
Clear
Clear

Disease-carrying bug threatens California citrus plants

By Joe Buttitta, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, jbuttitta@keyt.com
Published On: Jul 17 2013 07:45:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 08:05:14 PM CDT

Santa Barbara County agriculture officials are on the look out for a bug called the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

GOLETA, Calif. -

Santa Barbara County agriculture officials are on the lookout for the Asian citrus psyllid. 

The bug may only be an 1/8 of an inch in size, but it carries a disease that is deadly for citrus crops. Huanglongbing, or HBL, can wipe out entire fields of oranges and lemons. 

"Leaves will start turning yellow, the tree is essentially dying, the fruit will be misshaped, it will taste bitter," said Alyssa Houtby with California Citrus Mutual. 

In Florida, Asian citrus psyllid is to blame for an estimated $3.64 billion and over 6,000 jobs lost. California's $2 billion citrus industry is now being threatened.

"The L.A. Basin is infested with the Asian Citrus Psyllid right now," Houtby said. "We want to make sure that no citrus material is brought up from that area."

For growers like Kenneth Doty, who operates more than 100 acres of citrus crops in Goleta, the Asian citrus psyllid could be devastating.

"If the disease ever does arrive after the establishment of the insect, it's real trouble," Doty said.

Officials say it's not just commercial growers who need to be on the lookout. Backyard gardeners are also being asked to watch for the bug.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is placing traps in trees across the state hoping to get a jump on the Asian citrus psyllid before the problem gets worse.

For more information, call the California Department of Food and Agriculture hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or visit CaliforniaCitrusThreat.org.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.