Sep. 22, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has proposed release of a parasitoid wasp, Diaphorencyrtus aligarhensis, for the biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) (Diaphorina citri).
Huanglongbing (HLB)—is one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world and is spread by the ACP. While this bacterial disease poses no danger to humans or animals, it has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad. Currently, the control of ACP in the United States is limited to chemical and biocontrol methods. Chemical controls usually cannot be used to control HLB in residential citrus or in unmanaged groves, which spreads HLB. Using biocontrol agents, such as D. aligarhensis in this situation, as well as in organic groves, is essential in preventing further spread of the disease to healthy trees.
Currently, APHIS has issued an environmental assessment, which is available for review and comment until October 20th.