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Santa Barbara County under citrus pest quarantine

Santa Barbara County is under quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid pest starting Monday.

The Agricultural Commissioner‘s Office says they have detected three bugs in Santa Maria and five in Santa Barbara.

The Asian citrus psyllid is no bigger than an eighth of an inch but spreads a disease to citrus trees that makes the fruit bitter.

Officials said Santa Barbara County if the fifth county to be entirely under quarantine.

This means trees cannot be moved from the area and requires all citrus fruit leaves be cleaned.

They advise residents with citrus trees in their back yards to not remove fruit from the trees.

Residents who think they may have seen the pest are urged to call the Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

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