Director of the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center Beth Grafton-Cardwell predicted Valley citrus growers' fears will be realized. Eventually, she believes, the Asian citrus psyllid will make its way northward from San Diego County, were it was first discovered in California last year.
Grafton-Cardwell shared her view in the lead business story of yesterday's Fresno Bee. Written by reporter Robert Rodriguez, the story said growers are mobilizing resources to get ahead of the invasion and protect the state's $723 million citrus industry.
However, Grafton-Cardwell told Rodriguez that quarantines, trapping and pesticide spraying may slow down the bugs' northward march, but probably won't stop it.
"With the volume of people traffic around the state, the psyllid will be carried into new places," she was quoted in the story.
The greatest concern associated with the Asian citrus psyllid is its ability to spread the devastating citrus greening disease. To date, none of the psyllids trapped in Southern California was carrying the disease.