California Valley Guards Against Citrus Disease | KCUR

California Valley Guards Against Citrus Disease

Apr 11, 2012
Originally published on April 11, 2012 6:31 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Certain bugs might be a tasty treat or might not, but others are a serious threat, which brings us here to Los Angeles, and our last word: alien versus predator.

A quarantine zone has been set up in the San Gabriel Valley after a lemon tree was found infected with a disease carried by a bug called the Asian citrus psyllid. That's the predator. It almost wiped out Florida's citrus crop a few back.

To avoid a repeat in California's billion dollar citrus industry, officials have brought in bug export Mark Hoddle. He has a wasp from Pakistan that preys on the psyllid, and he adds, has Hollywood appeal.

MARK HODDLE: They are similar to the alien that you see in the movie "Alien" with Sigourney Weaver.

MONTAGNE: Hoddle says the alien wasp lay eggs which hatch and burrow into the psyllid's stomach, explode out after eating and look for more prey. Sigourney Weaver, watch out.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Grossest business news ever. I'm Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.