Fight to Save Citrus from Bugs in Desert Hot Springs
A little bug that can carry a disease that kills citrus trees has been found in Desert Hot Springs. Monday night the California Department of Food and Agriculture talked to residents about how they are fighting the invasion.Photo: Video by kmir6.com
A little bug that can carry a disease that kills citrus trees has been found in Desert Hot Springs.
Monday night the California Department of Food and Agriculture talked to residents about how they are fighting the invasion.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture will begin spraying citrus trees in a two-mile stretch of Desert Hot Springs on Thursday.
The disease the bug can carry is not a health risk to people, but can wipe out entire citrus crops.
The fight is on to save citrus trees from the deadly disease this bug can carry.
Dozens of residents came to the meeting with questions.
"We're here to check on why we don't have any citrus."
Bud McPhail lives in Whitewater, but brought some of his branches to see what his trees suffer from.
"White moth is something that I'm afraid of, we see a lot of that," said McPhail.
Earlier this month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture found the Asian citrus psyllid in Desert Hot Springs.
The disease they sometimes carry -- also called citrus greening -- kills the trees.
"If the psyllid is carrying Huanglongbing it can transmit the disease to it, if there are psyllids on the tree it's not going to kill the tree unless they're transmitting the disease," said John Hoooper with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The disease is already widespread in Texas, Florida and several other states. Now it has moved to Southern California.
"This is one of the biggest threats to agriculture and backyard citrus production, however we think we've got a good program underway," said Hooper.
They say the materials to fight the pest are very safe and short-lasting.
Still, some residents are worried.
"I'm concerned about the chemicals they are using for the soil to prevent it from happening, because I myself am into organic gardening," said Desert Hot Springs resident, Janie Stiller.
People can refuse to have their trees treated.
But many others received this notice of spraying and want the protection so the disease doesn't wipe out their fresh citrus fruit.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture will be spraying in Desert Hot Springs for for about a month.