MANTECA (CBS13) — Two Valley neighborhoods are quarantined, because homeowners’ personal citrus trees now have an invasive bug.
The Asian Citrus Psyllid has been a problem in Southern California for years, but the pest showed up for the first time in San Joaquin County last week.
Neighbors on North Grant Street in Manteca said they just wanted to grow their own fruit.
“We love them, especially the red ruby grapefruits,” said renter Manuel Romo.
The grapefruit, limes, lemons, kumquats, and oranges lining the street, however, have caused the neighborhood to be put under quarantine by the San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner. Last week county officials were trapping a different bug when they caught psyllids first in a backyard tree.
Commissioner Tim Pelican said he suspects local gardeners accidentally brought back the psyllid from outside of the county.
In Lodi, psyllids were also found in the Chestnut and School Street neighborhood. The psyllid alone is is not dangerous, but it can carry a disease that deforms citrus trees.
“In order to make sure we don’t get the disease, we have to monitor and control the insect,” said Pelican.
Manteca and Lodi homeowners within 800 feet of the psyllid discovery area received letters and maps of the spraying and quarantine area. No fruit or leaves can leave the area. Pelican said the quarantine would only impact retail nurseries that sell citrus trees, but none were found near the quarantine areas.
Town hall meetings will be held next weekend for homeowners regarding county spraying against the Asian Citrus Psyllid.