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Two Pests Threaten Plants in Santa Clara County: Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF)

There are two pests threatening agriculture in Santa Clara County – the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and the Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF). So far, each pest has only been found in specific areas of the county, areas that are now under quarantine and treatment.
 
Asian Citrus Psyllid has been found within the City of San Jose, a portion of northwest Santa Clara County, and a portion of southern Alameda County along its border with Santa Clara County.
 
The Oriental Fruit Fly has been found around the area of Cupertino, requiring a quarantine of approximately 89 square miles.

 

Asian Citrus Psyllid

The Asian Citrus Psyllid infests citrus plants and citrus relatives, including lemon, lime, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit, kumquat and orange jasmine. The pest damages new plant growth and is host to the deadly citrus greening disease huanglongbing (HLB). 
 
There is no cure once the plant becomes infected. The diseased tree will decline in health and produce bitter, misshaped fruit until it dies. If the psyllid were to become established in citrus growing region, pesticide treatments for the psyllid would be instituted resulting in a direct cost of greatly increased pesticide use (3-6 treatments per year) and indirect costs due to disruption of the integrated pest management program.
 
People within quarantine areas (city of San Jose and a portion of northwest Santa Clara County) are asked to consume home-grown citrus fruit at home and to refrain from transporting home-grown citrus or citrus plants out of the area. The quarantine prohibits the movement of citrus and curry leaf tree nursery stock, including all plant parts except fruit, out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the quarantine area. Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables, plants or soil into the U.S. or your state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them. 
 
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Oriental Fruit Fly

The Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) is an invasive pest that attacks over 230 kinds of fruits and vegetables. Female flies lay egg inside fruits and vegetables, and once maggots develop and feed on the pulp, the fruit will decay and fall to the ground. The short life cycle of the fruit fly allows rapid development of serious outbreaks, which can cause severe economic losses and complete losses of crops.
 
To prevent the spread of fruit flies through homegrown fruits and vegetables, residents living in the fruit fly quarantine area are urged not to move any fruits or vegetables from their property. Fruits and vegetables may be consumed or processed (i.e. juiced, frozen, cooked, or ground in the garbage disposal) at the property where they were picked. Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables, plants or soil into the U.S. or your state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them.  Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables, plants or soil into the U.S. or your state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them. 
 
Establishment of these flies would cause direct economic losses via damaged fruit, increased pesticide use statewide by commercial and residential growers in efforts to lessen this damage, loss of revenue due to export restrictions on fruit both domestically and internationally, and adverse impacts on native plants through  the destruction of their fruit. Yearly economic losses would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
 
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Last updated: 7/24/2019 1:36 PM