Leave Hungry Pests Behind (Asian citrus psyllid)
Are you unknowingly harboring tiny hitch-hikers? One of the ways pests, diseases and harmful weeds spread is by hitching a ride with humans, pets and vehicles. An invasive pest is one that is introduced to areas that are not part of its natural range, where it may not have any natural enemies to keep its population in check. Invasive pests can wreak havoc on agricultural crops and natural areas like forests and watersheds, causing economic, environmental and even human health impacts.
Viewer Tip: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared April Invasives Awareness Month. There are several pests that are being monitored as “most damaging” in the United States, including the aphid-like Asian citrus psyllid, which damages new growth on citrus plants and hosts a deadly citrus greening disease. Citrus greening disease reduces fruit production and eventually kills citrus trees. What can you do to prevent the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid and other invasive pests?
- Inspect. Large-scale and backyard citrus growers should regularly inspect trees and plants for signs of Asian citrus psyllids and notify your state department of agriculture or USDA if you suspect an infestation. Learn more about the signs and symptoms: www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/asian-citrus-psyllid.php.
- Choose plants carefully. Always buy citrus and other plants from a reputable source. Avoid using invasive plant species at all costs.
- Stay local. Don’t bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into your state or another state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand.
Learn more about “most damaging” invasive pests and their impacts at www.hungrypests.com.
(Sources: USDA. “Asian Citrus Psyllid ,” http://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/asian-citrus-psyllid.php; “What You Can Do,” www.hungrypests.com/what-you-can-do/)