TURLOCK (CBS/AP) — State officials have expanded a quarantine in Northern California to try to contain a tiny pest that is potentially fatal to citrus trees.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture said Monday it has added 101 square miles to the Asian citrus psyllid quarantine in southern Stanislaus County and part of neighboring Merced County. The expansion comes after two psyllids were found in the city of Turlock.
The psyllid can carry a bacteria that is deadly to citrus trees. It has cost Florida’s citrus industry hundreds of millions of dollars.
Officials say that nine California counties are under full quarantines, along with parts of 12 more counties.
Quarantines are now in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura Counties, with portions of Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus counties also under quarantine.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of nursery stock. It also requires that citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems.