March 3, 2010

Bayer Advanced Introduces A New, Innovative Consumer Product That Kills and Prevents Asian Citrus Psyllid, Citrus Leafminer, And Other Pests That Attack Citrus Trees

Research Triangle Park, N.C.— Bayer Advanced™, one of the leading lawn and garden brands in the United States, has introduced a new product that is designed to help backyard gardeners protect their citrus trees from destructive insects, such as the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and Citrus Leafminer, among others. The product is specifically designed for edible gardening.

Asian Citrus Psyllid: Perhaps The Biggest Threat To Citrus

  • Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus and Vegetable Insect Control contains the active ingredient Imidacloprid (.235%) that kills the Asian Citrus Psyllid pest and prevents it for up to three months. Just mix in a watering can and pour it at the base of the tree. It travels from the roots to the leaves. It’s available in lawn and garden centers across the country. Always read and follow label directions.
  • ACP often carries a disease called huanglongbing (HLB). Some people also refer to it as citrus greening disease. HLB is considered one of the most devastating citrus diseases and there is no known cure for it. ACP doesn’t always carry the disease, but the disease can’t spread without the insect. Symptoms include yellow shoots and lopsided fruit with a bitter taste. It can take up to three years for HLB symptoms to be visible in a citrus tree. Infected trees produce inedible fruits and eventually die. Citrus trees infected with the disease must be destroyed.
  • The types of citrus trees and plants that ACP infests: According to the USDA, Asian Citrus Psyllid favors citrus plants and citrus relatives, including the highly susceptible sweet orange, mandarin orange, as well as lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and kumquat.
  • ACP is attracted to the new growth of citrus trees. The pest acquires the HLB bacteria by feeding on an infected tree.
  • ACP and HLB: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the following states and territories are under quarantine for Asian Citrus Psyllid: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Guam, and parts of Arizona and Southern California. Florida, Georgia and parts of South Carolina and Louisiana are under quarantine for both ACP and HLB disease. See map: www.aphis.usda.gov.
  • The USDA says the United States has the second-largest citrus industry in the world. Florida and California are the two top citrus-producing states. HLB disease has forced the destruction or abandonment of at least 200,000 acres of citrus groves in Florida, according to The Packer, a fruit industry trade magazine. In fact, Florida growers have lost citrus production of 10 percent to 12 percent per year from this pest and disease.
  • ACP in California. No evidence of HLB Disease: The insect has been discovered in several counties. Those counties are now under a pest quarantine. Specifically, Imperial County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, portions of Riverside County and San Bernardino County, and most of San Diego County. See quarantine map at www.cdfa.ca.gov. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is asking consumers who live in the quarantine areas not to move homegrown citrus or citrus plants out of the area. Other restrictions apply to gardening nurseries and professional citrus growers.
    • California’s citrus industry is valued at $1.2 billion. CDFA says it could cost $224 million annually – 20 percent of total production – if the Asian Citrus Psyllid insect and HLB disease become established in California.
  • How to tell if your tree has ACP: The ACP damages new growth because it injects toxins into the citrus plant or tree while it feeds. This causes curling and distortion of young leaves.
    • ACP is most likely to be found on new shoots, and the insect population increases during periods of active plant growth. The tiny adults look like aphids, measuring about 1/8 inch. The bodies are grayish-tan with brown markings and mottled brown wings. The last two segments of antennae are black.
    • ACP feeds with the posterior of its body raised at a 45° angle. It jumps or flies when approached. Nymphs have yellow to brown oval bodies. They move slowly, can’t fly and can be very difficult to see. However, the white, waxy excretions given off by the nymphs may be noticeable. ACP eggs are almond-shaped and range from yellow to orange in color.
  • What consumers should know about ACP: It’s very important to collect samples of any insect or insect damage on citrus trees. Put the sample in a plastic storage bag and call county officials.
    • If you live in California and see signs of ACP, call the California Department of Food and Agriculture or county ag commissioner in your area. CDFA Pest Hotline: (800) 491-1899.
    • If you live in Florida and see signs of ACP or HLB disease, call the Division of Plant Industry at (800) 282-5153.
    • If officials confirm Asian Citrus Psyllid on your citrus tree, they may have your trees professionally treated with Bayer products, such as Merit® (Imidacloprid) or Tempo®.

About Bayer Advanced™

Bayer Advanced is one of the leading consumer lawn and garden brands in the United States. Driven by innovative thinking and category-leading research, Bayer Advanced provides innovative and effective solutions that help consumers grow beautiful lawns and gardens and protect their landscapes from pests, weeds and diseases.

Always read and follow label directions before using Bayer Advanced products. Visit BayerAdvanced.com for more information and to view how-to videos, or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

Bayer Advanced is a business group of Bayer CropScience LP, the U.S. affiliate of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer Advanced, Bayer CropScience LP, and Bayer CropScience AG are part of the Bayer AG family, a FORTUNE Global 500 company.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.5 billion (2009), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global work force of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. Visit www.bayercropscience.com for more details.

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Lance Walheim
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