(Mission, TX) A new 5-mile radius quarantine was established by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) on February 4, 2014. This quarantine zone in La Blanca, Texas is the third Citrus Greening Quarantine in South Texas. There are two additional quarantine zones in San Juan, TX and Mission, TX. Parts of Edinburg, Edcouch, Elsa and San Carols are included in this 5-mile quarantine. An updated quarantine map and additional information from TDA can be found HERE.
Reacting swiftly to this new quarantined area, the Texas citrus industry and scientists from TAMU-K Citrus Center are using the Citrus Greening Quarantine Expansion plan to quickly address this situation. Fourteen (14) trees have been confirmed positive in the new quarantine zone. The positive trees were found during a sampling survey conducted by USDA-APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) and they will continue sampling in that area in search of other positive trees. If additional positives outside of the original detection site are found, the quarantine boundaries may change.
Citrus greening disease poses no human health threat nor does it impact the consumption quality of fruit but there is no known cure for an infected tree. In areas of the world where citrus greening is endemic, citrus trees decline and die within a few years. The disease is spread by an infected insect known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), which is the size of a gnat.
It is important to note how this effects residents that live in these three quarantine zones. Residents are not allowed to move plants or plant materials (leaves or twigs) outside of quarantine zones. This effects all types of citrus trees, including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, kumquat, tangerine, and relatives like orange jasmine. Moving citrus plants outside of the quarantine zone risks spreading the disease and is against the law. You can move fruit outside of the quarantine zone but it is very important that you do not have any leaves or stems with the fruit.
It is also important that all residents that own citrus trees, especially inside the quarantine zones, are aware of the signs and symptoms of citrus greening disease and know what to look for.
If you think that your tree has symptoms and you would like your tree tested or if you find Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP) on your tree and would like to know how to treat your tree, please call Citrus Alert at 956-580-1917 or complete a request form on this website.
Valley citrus is vital to our economy and heritage. The industry is doing everything that it can to slow the spread of this disease and we need every citrus tree owner to join the battle. With your help, we can save Texas citrus.