178 Square Miles Quarantined In Tulare County For Asian Citrus Pest

State officials have quarantined a portion of Tulare County after discovering a pest known to destroy citrus plants.

The Asian citrus psyllid was discovered in three locations in the Porterville area, officials with the California Department of Food and Agriculture said.{}

About 178-square miles from Blue Ridge Drive and Campbell Creek Drive; on the west by an area near State Highway 190 and Coyote Dr.; on the south by Avenue 68 near State Highway 65; and on the west by an area near Avenue 104 and Road 192 has been zoned off.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of host nursery stock out of the quarantine area and requires that all citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems prior to moving out of the area.

Tulare County residents with backyard citrus trees in the quarantine have been asked to not remove fruit from the area.

Quarantines are also{} in place in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Residents who think they may have seen the Asian citrus psyllid are urged to call CDFA's Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.