Citrus quarantine expands in Tulare County

Citrus quarantine expands in Tulare County
The Asian citrus psyllid is seen in this undated University of Florida photo provided by the University of California, Davis. (AP Photo/University of Florida, Michael Rogers, File)

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — California officials have expanded a quarantine for a tiny pest that is potentially fatal to citrus trees.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said on Friday it has added 13 square miles to the Asian citrus psyllid quarantine in Tulare County after a psyllid was found in that area. The additional territory is west of Porterville.

In total, 746 square miles are now under quarantine in Tulare County because of concerns about the pest. Other parts of the state are also under quarantine.

The psyllid can carry a bacteria that is deadly to citrus trees. It has decimated Florida's citrus industry, though in California so far only one psyllid has tested positive for the bacteria.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of nursery stock. It also requires that citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems.