September 2, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A bug that threatens California's $1.6 billion citrus industry is rapidly spreading through southern California groves despite efforts to contain it.
The North County Times reports that at least 20 cases of Asian citrus psyllid have been confirmed in Riverside and San Diego counties over the past two months.
The insect carries a disease that is lethal to citrus trees.
It was first noted in California in 2009 and had been considered to be waning, but Jim Wynn, deputy commissioner of San Diego County's agriculture department, says it is now cropping up in multiple locations.
The new discoveries mean quarantines in Riverside and San Diego counties will be extended two years.
The quarantines mean no citrus fruit can be shipped out of those counties unless clipped of foliage.
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