To stop spread of pest, Californians are asked to remove leaves before transporting citrus

    Photo courtesy: California Department of Food and Agriculture

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – To stop the spread of a potentially devastating citrus pest, people are asked to wash homegrown citrus fruit and remove all leaves before handing it out to friends and family.

    People are also asked to take caution while transporting citrus trees.

    An insect called an Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on the leaves, can transmit an incurable, bacterial plant disease called huanglongbing.

    Infected ACPs can kill trees.

    RELATED STORY | Report: Breakthrough on devastating citrus disease unlikely

    Quarantine zones are also set up throughout California to limit the spread of the pest.

    “To limit the spread of the pest and disease, we urge residents not to transport their citrus in and out of quarantine zones, bordering counties, state lines or international borders,” Nick Condos, interim director of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, said in a news release. “It is estimated that more than half of California residences have a citrus tree on their property and it’s crucial that we work together to ensure fresh, California citrus continues to grow healthy in our backyards.”

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