SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new, deadly threat has arisen for the citrus trees so many people in the Sacramento area have in their yards. An insect that spreads a disease that kills trees has turned up in Sacramento County.

The entire county is now under a new quarantine.

The insect, the Asian Citrus Psyllid, does not kill citrus trees, but a disease it carries does.

“If your citrus tree happens to contract this illness…it’s done and it’ll be removed,” said Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner Juli Jensen.

The insect turned up on one of the hundreds of traps the county hangs in the area.

Tree owners are advised to keep their eyes open for the bugs. The insects grow up to an eighth of an inch in size. They’re brown and hang on leaves at a 45-degree angle. They can also cause sooty mold to form on leaves.

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This is all cause for concern for homeowners like Charlie McCreary.

“I’ve got a lemon tree and I’ve got a tangelo tree,” McCreary said.

When life gave him lemons, he made a whole lot of lemonade, and he’s willing to share.

“Anybody who wants it all the time. I took 60 pounds over to my neighbor a few years ago,” McCreary said.

The county says that’s no problem. You can still share your citrus produce with your friends.

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” You can as long as you take the time to remove the stems and the leaves and wash them thoroughly. Then you can bring them to work and share them with your friends,” Jensen said.

If your tree gets sick, eating the fruit won’t make you sick, but it will taste terrible.

The main thing to remember is not to move a citrus tree out of the quarantine area, which in this case is all of Sacramento County. The insects reportedly got into our area when someone brought a tree up from Southern California.


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