The discovery of a single Asian citrus psyllid pest led this week to a county-wide quarantine that is expected to last for at least two years.
San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner Karen Overstreet said that since the discovery of the insect in a lemon tree on April 11, 353 traps have been set around the ares of Recht and Meridian streets in Hollister. They will be checked on a weekly basis for the next two months. Then, the traps will be checked once a month for the next two years.
"The psyllid itself is not necessarily harmful to the tree, but it is a vector -- or carrier -- for the huanglongbing disease that when it got into the production citrus in Florida was just devastating to the industry there," Overstreet said. "There is no cure for the disease and the tree will eventually die" if infected. The psyllid was first detected in Southern California and has since been found in the Central Valley counties of Fresno and Madera. Last year "a couple of finds" of psyllids in Santa Clara County put a quarantine in place there.