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Quarantine in Tulare County for pest that is potentially fatal to citrus trees expanded

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FARMERSVILLE, California — California officials have expanded a quarantine for a tiny pest that is potentially fatal to citrus trees.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said on Thursday it has added 14 square miles to the Asian citrus psyllid quarantine in Tulare County after a psyllid was found west of Exeter near the community of Farmersville.

In total, 870 square miles are now under quarantine in Tulare County because of concerns about the pest. Other parts of the state are also under quarantine.

The psyllid can carry a bacteria that is deadly to citrus trees. It has cost Florida's citrus industry hundreds of millions of dollars, though in California, so far only one psyllid has tested positive for the bacteria.

The quarantine prohibits the movement of nursery stock. It also requires that citrus fruit be cleaned of leaves and stems.

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