California Citrus Endangered by Finding of Psyllid Insects

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Californian Orange Grove Photo: Chuck the Photographer

Asian Citrus Psyllid insects have been found on a residential lemon tree in Santa Ana, posing a potential apocalypse for citrus groves in Southern California. The insects often carry bacteria that decimate citrus trees, and have badly damaged citrus industries from China to Florida, as reported in The Los Angeles Times. The disease, called citrus greening, almost always follows the presence of the insects, whose colonies started showing up in Southern California about a year ago. The five found in Santa Ana are being tested for the bacteria with fears that fall's approach stirs the insects' reproduction needs. Citrus greening infections are currently troubling the Yucatan Peninsula, and the infection could be spreading north. California will battle expected outbreaks through containing the insect, with $50 million of state and national money, as well as contributions from the citrus industry.

Psyllids Found in Orange County Pose Threat to California Citrus Industry [L.A. Times]