Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Disease
The Asian citrus psyllid is a tiny mottled brown insect about the size of an aphid. This insect poses a serious threat to California citrus as it carries a disease (HLB), also called citrus greening disease. The disease spreads when this bacteria carrying psyllid (insect) flies to a healthy plant and injects bacteria into it as it feeds. There is no cure for this disease and can kill a citrus within 5 years.
This Asian citrus psyllid is widely distributed in Southern Ca. and is likely to spread to Central and Northern Ca. The good news is that with gardeners close attention, this can be controlled and prevented.
Identification and controlling this insect is vitally important and key to preventing the disease. The Asian Citrus Psyllid is a small brownish-winged insect about the size of an aphid. Its body is 1/6 to 1/8" long with a pointed front end, red eyes, and short antennae. While aphids move slowly, this citrus psyllid moves fast and flies.
Important advice for home gardeners with citrus trees/plants:
Check your citrus plants closely every 2 weeks. Carefully check under the leaves for any infestation. The psyllid will be readily visible.
If you should discover any infestation, put a sample in a plastic sealed bag and take to your local nursery or agriculture department for assistance.
There are spray pesticides that can readily kill these pests. Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer and Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew are both effective pesticides for this citrus psyllid. Immediate attention and treatment is necessary in preventing the Huanglongbing Disease and keeping your citrus healthy. For additional information, you may call Pompei Nursery at 925-625-7330.