With summer winding down and school starting soon, there’s just enough time for one last trip! No matter where your travels take you, be sure to bring back lots of photographs, souvenirs and memories—but one thing you don’t want to bring home with you is citrus.
Moving citrus may seem completely harmless, but it can come with huge consequences. One little tiny bug, the Asian citrus psyllid could be hiding on citrus fruit, trees, clippings or nursery stock. It can carry citrus greening disease, or Huanglong Bing (HLB), a certain death sentence for infected trees. Pests carrying the disease can spread it to healthy trees. Throughout the U.S. and abroad, millions of acres of citrus trees have already been destroyed.
Besides citrus greening, there are three other diseases that are currently infecting U.S. citrus—citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. Check the interactive map for the latest information on where these diseases have been found.
Also, while packing for your trip, be sure to leave your citrus at home. It may be tempting to bring homegrown citrus with you to share with relatives in other states, but in order to prevent diseases from spreading, a federal certificate is necessary to move citrus across state lines.
If citrus disease were to become out of control, it could have a huge economic impact on our country’s multi-billion-dollar citrus industry and would also lead to the loss of millions of jobs. It also means Americans will lose out of the delicious citrus that we rely for a tasty source of Vitamin C. By doing your part to prevent the spread of citrus disease, you are preserving citrus for the present and also future generations of citrus lovers.
So enjoy your summer travels, wherever they may take you. Don’t forget the sunscreen and be sure to visit saveourcitrus.org for more information and to learn the five things to know when you buy and grow citrus. Keep your travels and your citrus safe!