A tiny pest has recently been detected in Israel, posing a potentially catastrophic danger to the country’s citrus producers. The Asian citrus psyllid, or Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is a known vector for citrus greening disease and was recently identified in the Emek Hefer region in the center of the country.
The disease causes stunted growth in infected citrus trees and irregular misshapen fruit that can’t be used as produce. Ultimately, it kills infected citrus trees as there is no treatment, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Shlomit Zioni, director of the ministry’s Plant Protection and Inspection Services, said on Tuesday that the Asian citrus bug could lead to the establishment of “a dangerous disease that will put the entire citrus fruit industry in the country in danger of extinction due to being the vector that spreads it.”