California farmers are employing a new-fangled approach to combating an epidemic destroying citrus crops around the U.S.

The Los Angeles Times reports growers have imported a wasp native to the Punjab region of Pakistan to attack the insect spreading huanglongbing, or citrus greening, which renders fruit bitter and lumpy – before killing the tree itself.

The wasp, known by the scientific nom de guerre Tamarixia radiate, “is going to be our No. 1 weapon to control [the] Asian citrus pysllid,” Mark Hoddle, an invasive species expert at UC Riverside, told The Times.

“We have no other choice except to use this natural enemy or do nothing. And the ‘do nothing’ option is unacceptable.”

So far, officials have reportedly quarantined citrus trees in nine states, including Florida, Texas and California, prohibiting interstate movement of the trees as well as nursery stocks of citrus tree seedlings.

The Asian citrus pysllid has reportedly wrought havoc in 32 Florida counties, and nine in California. Most Florida citrus, according to The Times, is used to make juice, while California citrus is typically sold as fruit.

But now — at least in California — the wasp will soon have its turn. “California has been preparing for this day,” Mark Hoddle reportedly said. “It’ll be hard to fault the citrus industry. I think they’ve done everything possible.”

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and special offers from ProTech Pest Control



Areas
We Serve

Areas We Serve

ProTech is one of Northern Virginia's leading full-service residential and commercial pest control company. Whether you have termites, bed bugs or other unwanted pests, ProTech can help.

Learn More

K-9
Pest Detection

K-9 Pest Detection

ProTech Pest Control is proud to be the employer of Inspectors Marlowe & Roxy – The Metro Area’s ONLY “World Detector Dog Organization” Double Blind Certified Termite & Bed Bug Detection K-9 Teams!

Learn More

The Five-Step Solution
Spectraguard

The Five-Step Solution Spectraguard

SpectraGuard is a 5-Step integrated pest management solution that involves a detailed inspection, tailored assessment and professional treatment with on-going monitoring and management.

Learn More