VISALIA, Calif., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The California Department of Food and Agriculture has quarantined 746 square miles of Tulare County after the discovery of an insect that carries a bacterial disease that destroys citrus crops.
Other regions in the San Joaquin Valley area under quarantine due to the Asian citrus psyllid are portions of Kern, Dinuba and Fresno counties, the department said.
The insect carries the plant-killing disease called huanglongbing, or citrus greening. It causes small, hard fruit that tastes bitter and often looks green in coloring.
The disease was first introduced in Florida in 2005, spreading to all 32 citrus-growing counties in the state. Since then, the state's citrus crops have dropped by about 27 percent.
[California Department of Food and Agriculture] [Fresno Bee] [Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader]