Federal agricultural officials have allocated $5.8 million in an effort to stop the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny bug capable of wiping out California’s citrus groves.
The money will be used to increase surveillance, enforce quarantines, and educate the agricultural industry and public about the potentially deadly impacts of the dangerous insect, said Agriculture Secretary, Ed Schafer. The bug was detected at the Tijuana border earlier this year, and had crossed into San Diego County by September.
The psyllid carries bacteria that is deadly to citrus. The bacteria passes to trees as the bug feeds on its leaves and kills the trees within five to eight years.