Citrus Pest Spurs State Spraying In La Mesa

LA MESA -- Residents in and around La Mesa have been finding a flier left at their home informing them of plans by the state and County Agriculture authorities to spray their property to help combat a pest that is threatening citrus trees.
The document gives a day and date for the spraying and advises residents to keep pets and their food and water dishes inside while this activity takes place.

Residents are also advised to stay out of treated areas until the spray has dried (usually four hours) and to keep the homes doors and windows closed and laundry inside during the spraying period.

The pest is an invasive and damaging one. Known as the "Asian citrus psyllid,'' the pest will infect trees which develop mottled leaves, produce misshapen fruit and will eventually kill the trees.

CLICK HERE to read more about the pest, which is threatening citrus in California as well as other states.

Other questions about the spraying can be directed to the state's hotline at (800) 491-1899.

 

 

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Tags: La Mesa Today, La Mesa infestation, La Mesa news, citrus pest, spraying

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Comment by Sharon Muczynski on January 29, 2013 at 1:55pm

FYI   If you are targeted for Asian Psyllid pesticide spraying, you can opt out by calling this number (562) 928-0827. 

They are spraying with two products: imidacloprid - a systemic pesticide that will be taken up by your plants and will be toxic to insects that suck plant juices, or honeybees that collect nectar, "very toxic to bees; do not apply during bloom." (UC Davis)  Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid that is persistent and additive in soil and plants, and it has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder. In my phone conversation with CA Ag they said it will persist up to a year in plants.
 The second pesticide is Beta-Cyfluthrin, a pesticide that is "highly toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates and moderately toxic to algae. It is classified as presenting a high risk to honey bees and other arthropod species."  From Ref: 1999. FAO Specifications and Evaluations for Plant Protection Products. Beta-Cyfluthrin (1RS, 3RS; 1RS, 3SR)-3-(2,2-dichloro-vinyl)-2,2-dimethyl-cyclopropane-carboxylic acid (RS)-cyano
-(4-fluoro-3-phenoxy-phenyl)-methyl ester. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
 
If the honeybees are not already having a tough time, this spraying will not help matters. Also, for those worried about fluoride, this spray adds fluoride to sprayed surfaces.
 
I am worried because many studies show this kind of wide-range broadcast spraying may actually make the problem worse by killing the beneficial predatory insects, and by selecting for pests that are resistant to the pesticide sprays, not to mention exposing the public to toxic pesticides. 
Comment by Sharon Muczynski on January 29, 2013 at 6:35am

I mistyped. I meant "increase the number of psyllids." Called the office to find out what they are spraying and will let you know. 

Comment by Cosas Chaparitas on January 28, 2013 at 7:07pm
What is the spray? Is it toxic? What if I have an organic garden? Can I opt out?
Comment by Sharon Muczynski on January 28, 2013 at 6:01pm

Stupid to spray a pesticide willy nilly. All this accomplishes is killing the beneficial insects that are our best defense against ANY insect pest. Study after study shows mass spraying does more harm than good. In addition to exposing the public to toxic pesticides, spraying leaves communities with a false sense of security making them less likely to use effective, non-toxic control measures. Long-term spraying may actually increase the number of mosquitoes by destroying predators that feed on Asian psyllid larvae and adults. Additionally, Asian psyllids that are sprayed, but not killed, by the pesticides may become resistant, live longer, and pass on their genetics to their offspring.

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