Citrus Greening Disease FAQs

What is Citrus Greening Disease?

Citrus greening disease is a bacterial disease that destroys citrus tree production and eventually kills trees.

When was Citrus Greening Disease First Found in the United States?

Citrus greening disease was first confirmed in Florida in 1995 on pummelo leaves and fruit.

Where is Citrus Greening Disease Found?

Citrus greening disease has been detected in California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. Other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Mississippi, are at risk for Citrus Greening Disease because populations of the Asian citrus psyllid, the small insect known to spread the disease, have been found in those states. For a map showing current quarantines and high risk areas, visit the Pest Tracker.

What Types of Plants Does Citrus Greening Disease Affect?

Citrus greening disease affects a variety of citrus bearing trees. Known susceptible plants include orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kumquat and tangerine trees.

What are the Symptoms of Infection?

Primary disease symptoms include leaf yellowing or blotchy mottling of leaves; lopsided and bitter fruit; fruit that remains green even when ripe; twig dieback; and stunted, sparsely foliated trees that may bloom off season.

What Kind of Damage Can Citrus Greening Disease Cause?

Citrus greening disease has the potential to destroy and eliminate the citrus industry in the United States. In areas known to be affected by citrus greening disease, citrus crops have been seriously threatened or even completely destroyed.

How Does Citrus Greening Disease Spread?

Citrus greening disease is primarily spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that spreads the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. The disease can also spread by moving infected plant material, such as budwood or seedlings, or by plant tissue grafting.

What Quarantine and Regulations Are in Place for Citrus Greening Disease?

Because Citrus greening disease has the potential to devastate the citrus industry in the United States, quarantine is established when the disease is found in any area of the U.S. The states of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina are currently under quarantine for citrus greening disease. Federal quarantine restricts the interstate movement of citrus greening host material. You can see the Pest Tracker for a general overview of the federal quarantines and high risk areas.

What Can We Do?

Growers and backyard citrus growers are encouraged to regularly inspect their trees and plants for evidence of the Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease. If an infestation is suspected, contact your state department of agriculture or the USDA. Follow all quarantine regulations if you live or work within a quarantine area. Do not bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into the U.S. unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand, as the Asian citrus psyllid and other pests can hide in a variety of produce.