The Council of Rural Development, Livestock, Fishing, Food and Environment of Cantabria has warned of the presence in the region of the African citrus psila (Trioza erytreae), after an outbreak was detected in the town of Mogro, in the municipality of Miengo.
This sucking insect of sub-Saharan origin can affect lemons, oranges, mandarins and other citrus fruits, causing the quality and flavor of the fruit to deteriorate, and even the death of the affected tree in a few years. It was first detected in the Canary Islands in 2002 and in Galicia and northern Portugal in 2014 and it is a regulated quarantine pest in the European Union. It is an important vector of the bacterium that causes Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening disease, as reported by the regional Executive in a press release.
In order to eradicate this first outbreak and prevent its spread, the Government of Cantabria will inspect the affected area and its surroundings to delimit its extension and will destroy the affected crops and subsequently burn or bury them. To this end, the General Directorate of Rural Development has asked for citizen collaboration. The Plant Production and Health section of the Council should be told about "the slightest suspicion" of the presence of the pest.
People have also been asked to facilitate the access of inspectors to private orchards and gardens, as they are the places where the different citrus varieties that exist in Cantabria are mostly located.
In case of any doubt or sighting, the technicians of the Plant Production and Health section can be contacted via phone (942 207 807) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).