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Asian Citrus Psyllid FAQs

What Does the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) Look Like?

Adults are aphid-like in appearance, measuring about 3-4 millimeters, or 1/8 inch, in size. The bodies are grayish-tan with brown markings and mottled brown wings. When approached, they jump or fly.

When was the Asian Citrus Psyllid First Found in the United States?

The Asian citrus psyllid was first discovered in Florida in 1998.

Where is the Asian Citrus Psyllid Currently Found in the United States?

Asian citrus psyllid has been detected in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Citrus greening disease has been found in California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. For a map showing high risk areas for both Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease, visit the Pest Tracker.

What Types of Plants Does the Asian Citrus Psyllid Infest?

There are 56 host plants. The Asian citrus psyllid favors citrus plants and citrus relatives, including lemon, lime, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit, kumquat and orange jasmine.

What Kind of Damage Can the Asian Citrus Psyllid Cause?

The Asian citrus psyllid threatens citrus plants and citrus relatives in two ways: it damages new plant growth as it feeds but, even worse, it is a host to the deadly citrus greening disease huanglongbing (HLB). HLB, also known as citrus greening disease, is a bacterial disease that greatly reduces production, destroys the economic value of fruit and eventually kills trees. Once infected, there is no cure for a tree with citrus greening disease: within a few years, infected trees decline and die.

Are Quarantine and/or Eradication Programs in Place for the Asian Citrus Psyllid?

Aggressive control and quarantine programs are in place to keep the Asian citrus psyllid in the states where it has been found and to protect other states from this invasive pest. Maps on quarantined areas can be found at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov. Or, you can see the Pest Tracker for a general overview of the federal quarantines and high risk areas.

What Methods Are Used to Control the Asian Citrus Psyllid Population?

Growers and backyard citrus growers are encouraged to regularly inspect their trees and plants for Asian citrus psyllids and evidence of their existence on the plant (sooty mold, white waxy deposits on the leaves or twister and curling shoot tips). If an infestation is suspected, contact your state department of agriculture or the USDA. Surveys will be implemented to determine the extent of the infestation. Some biological control measures are possible with arthropod predators, including spiders, lacewings and hover flies, and some beetles, wasps and parasites attacking Asian citrus psyllid populations. Chemical control and plant removal are also options.

What Can We Do?

People within quarantine areas are asked to consume home-grown citrus fruit at home and to refrain from transporting home-grown citrus or citrus plants out of the area. Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into the U.S. unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand, as the Asian citrus psyllid and other pests can hide in a variety of produce.