A Bug’s Life Launches Warrant
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Sheriff’s Capt. Monica McGrath speaks with property owner Herbert Haase, as he holds the warrant served on him. Haase has refused to spray his citrus grove for the Asian Citrus Psyllid, an invasive, aphid-like pest.
Warrant served, spraying begins. Sheriff’s deputies served a warrant Tuesday on Fillmore resident Herbert Haase to enter, inspect, and treat his orange grove at Third and B Streets for a citrus pest, Asian Citrus Psyllid. A County worker waits to begin the spraying.
Tuesday, at approximately 9:15 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies served a warrant on Fillmore resident Herbert Haase to enter, inspect, and treat his orange grove at Third and B Streets for a citrus pest. The fly in the ointment is the Asian Citrus Psyllid, an invasive, aphid-like pest. Although “not a serious problem by itself, it can transmit a devastating bacterial disease to citrus trees. Known as Huanglongbing (HLB), the disease ruins the taste and appearance of citrus fruit, and eventually kills infected trees.” (californiacitrusthreat.org)
At issue is the serious threat to all citrus production posed by the Asian Citrus Psyllid (fly) which, could destroy the citrus industry if left untreated. There is no known treatment once the tree has been infected. Spraying is the only known prevention against this pest and all commercial growers are anxious to cooperate with the spraying program.
The Asian Citrus Psyllid entered the United States from Mexico and is quickly extending its presence north in California, which could devastate the citrus industry. “Tens of thousands of trees in residential yards also are at risk. They, too, will die if infected with HLB...the backyard orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or tangerine trees might also disappear from Ventura County.” (californiacitrusthreat.org)
Sheriff’s Captain Monica McGrath with approximately 10 Sheriff’s deputies, Commissioner Gonzales and an assistant participated in the warrant service. According to Commissioner Gonzales it would have been far less costly had Haase cooperated initially. If spray is applied in the winter only one application is needed; if in spring or summer, two applications are needed. While the costs to be billed to Haase for the warrant service (County Counsel, Sheriff’s Dept. personnel) are still being tallied, they could be substantial.