Riverside–California’s citrus is at risk. A devastating plant disease called Huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening, has been found in Southern California.
This incurable disease kills citrus trees, leaving fruit from diseased trees bitter, hard and lopsided. HLB is spread from tree to tree by a pest called the Asian citrus psyllid as it feeds from one tree to the next. Psyllid are small, about the size of an aphid, and can be found on the small, tender, new leaves of citrus trees.
Experts say the best way to protect trees from citrus greening is to stop the spread of the psyllid. Owners of citrus trees are encouraged to inspect them each month for signs of the pest and/or the disease, not to move citrus plants into or out of the community, cooperate with agriculture crews when they are working to counteract psyllid, talk to your local nursery about products that can protect your trees, control ants on your citrus trees (they interfere with the beneficial insects that protect against psyllid), and if you no longer want to care for your citrus tree, remove it so it does not become a host for the pest.
For information regarding how to treat psyllid visit UCANR.edu/sites/ACP. If you suspect your tree has psyllid or HLB, contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture at (800) 492-1899 as soon as possible.