The Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that can carry a disease devastating to lemon and orange orchards, was found in Ventura County. The tiny bug is known to carry citrus greening disease, which has decimated Florida’s citrus industry.
Officials don’t know yet if the psyllid was infected with the disease.
The psyllid was found in a trap in a La Conchita citrus grove. It was the first time the pest was found in the Tri-Counties. The state Department of Food and Agriculture announced Monday that the area would be quarantined.
Citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing, is inevitably fatal to trees. It represents a potentially catastrophic problem for Ventura County’s citrus industry, which accounts for a quarter of the county’s agricultural output.
“The disease will blank out the citrus industry in this county almost overnight if we don’t respond better than Florida,” Ventura County Farm Bureau CEO John Krist told the Business Times at the beginning of 2010.