WASCO - A pest spray is underway in Wasco to rid the area of the Asian citrus psyllid. One insect was found in a nearby home earlier this month. Although no others were found since, the State Department of Agriculture is taking no chances.
With a click of the switch, the State Department of Agriculture begins their treatment of all the citrus trees in southwest Wasco, beginning with Paula Gladden's orange trees.
"I think it's good to see our tax dollars at work," said Gladden.
The spray comes after an insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, was found at a home near Wasco. A dangerous discovery since the psyllid can carry citrus tree killing bacteria.
"When we found it, it was a big deal because we don't want it to spread to the citrus industry because it can basically wipe out our citrus industry," said Linette Bankston, Supervisor for Kern County's Pest Exclusion.
Since then, no other citrus psyllids were found on traps, but the Department of Agriculture still plans to treat every tree within an 800 meter radius.
"This is just to make sure that it doesn't spread because we do not want it to get out of this area because we want to contain it," said Bankston.
Department of Agriculture officials said crews are going door to door.
"We want to take care of this fairly quick as soon as we can," said Alfredo Sanchez, Agricultural Pest Control Specialist for the Department of Agriculture.
They're spraying three chemicals, soaking the leaves and the roots of each tree, including Bill Cole's beloved lemons.
"I would rather see this stop now rather than have a big problem of me possibly having a tree contaminated," said Cole, a Wasco resident.
It's a contamination that state officials hope will be stopped with a few days of sprays.
State officials say the pesticides used, Tempo SC Ultra, Merit 2F and CoreTect, are not harmful to humans or plants in small doses.