In the Voice “The Day of the Psyllids”, Ken Doty and Sam Frye write about the need to use pesticides to control a disease that could kill citrus groves. I met Doty at a town meeting in Summerland a couple months ago, just before the CDFA (California Dept. of Food and Ag) treatments took place. His is not an easy position to be in, and I understand his concern for his lemon groves if the Huanglongbing (HLB) bacteria spreads here in Santa Barbara.
I do not agree that a single (one insect) psyllid find in Summerland should have prompted CDFA to dispense by soil drench 1,527 gallons of Bayer’s Imidacloprid (Merit 2F), spray 28 gallons of Tempo while trees were in bloom, and insert 46 of Bayer’s CoreTect (Imidacloprid) tablets into the soil.
These products will be effective (killing psyllids, bees, etc.) for up to three years!
The Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association is thankful to residents who chose to opt out of these treatments and have agreed to monitor and treat for Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) with far less toxic products. Between the recent Carpinteria and Summerland CDFA campaigns, 22 out of 56 residences chose to educate themselves about the environmental impacts of CDFA’s ACP program and opted out of these optional treatments.