To date, HLB has not been detected in San Luis Obispo County, but if it takes hold, it will be deadly for citrus trees in the region.
Once trees are infected with HLB, they will eventually die, threatening not only the ability of homeowners to grow citrus in their backyards, but the San Luis Obispo citrus economy. One of the best ways to prevent HLB from taking hold, is to stop the Asian citrus psyllid, which can transmit the disease from tree to tree as it feeds.
Everyone in the region is being asked to do their part. The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program and the San Luis Obispo agricultural commissioner offer the following tips:• Cooperate — Cooperate with agriculture officials on detection and suppression efforts of the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB.• Don’t move citrus — Do not bring any citrus plant material into the county from other areas because they might be carrying psyllids or be infected with HLB.• Inspect your trees — Look for signs of the pest and disease each month or whenever watering, spraying, pruning or tending trees. • Learn what to look for — Visit CaliforniaCitrusThreat.org or use the Save Our Citrus app, which can be downloaded from the website. • Plant responsibly — Only buy citrus trees from reputable, licensed California nurseries. • Be mindful of clippings — Dry or double bag plant clippings prior to disposal to avoid moving psyllids and HLB-infected plant materials.
If you think you’ve found the psyllid or the disease, contact your local agricultural commissioner or call the California Department of Food and Agriculture hotline at 800-491-1899.