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Agriculture officials releasing predator to combat harmful citrus tree pest

Posted at 4:12 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 19:12:03-04

State and local agriculture officials are releasing a natural predator of the Asian citrus psyllid, a harmful citrus tree pest found throughout California.

The release of Tamarixia radiata is part of research collaboration with the University of California.

Tamarixia radiata is a tiny, parasitic wasp and a form of biological control. Agriculture officials use them to protect orchards and citrus trees from the psyllid and Huanglongbing.

The psyllid can transmit an incurable plant disease called Huanglongbing, or HLB, that kills citrus trees. Once infected, the tree will die and must be removed.