Pest Detection and Eradication

Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Margo Sanchez

This division is mandated to monitor agricultural and urban areas for harmful exotic pests in order to protect the local agricultural industry, environment, the public, and urban landscaping. This is largely accomplished through trapping, visual surveys, and the inspection of incoming nursery stock.  The division also provides field inspection services for seed exporters where inspection of the mother plants is required and provides pest identification services.

Quick Links:


Did you find a trap in your tree or yard?

PD&E Traps
Photo courtesy of Imperial County.

These traps help us monitor the county for invasive pests that could harm the agricultural industry or damage urban landscape plants. To request that a trap be removed or suggest a location for a trap please contact our office.


Asian Citrus Psyllid

The Asian citrus psyllid was found in Imperial County in 2008 and is of great concern to the future of the citrus in California.

Asian Citrus Psyllid
Photo courtesy of Michael Rogers of University of Florida.

It can transmit Huanglongbing (HLB), a.k.a. citrus greening, a disease that affects citrus trees where the fruit becomes unflavorful and the tree will eventually die. This disease has not been found in Imperial County, but could be introduced at any time.

We Need Your Help:

  • Please purchase your citrus trees and fruit locally. Bringing fruit or trees into the county may introduce the disease into the area.
  • Please cooperate with CDFA inspectors who ask to treat your citrus for Asian citrus psyllid or county inspectors that ask to place a trap at your home.
  • Please let us or CDFA know if you see the following symptoms on your trees by contacting our office immediately:
    • Yellowing of leaves on an individual limb or in one sector of a tree's canopy.
    • An asymmetrical pattern of blotchy yellowing or mottling of the leaf, with patches of green on one side of the leaf and yellow on the other side.
    • Fruit size becomes smaller, and the juice turns bitter.
    • Fruit might remain partially green, which is why the disease is also called citrus greening.
    • Fruit becomes lopsided, has dark aborted seeds, and tends to drop prematurely.
    • Chronically infected trees are sparsely foliated with small leaves that point upward, and the trees have extensive twig and limb dieback.
    • Eventually, the tree stops bearing fruit and dies. Fruit and tree health symptoms may not begin to appear for two or more years after the bacteria infect a tree.

Photos and information provided courtesy of the
Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program.


PQ: Field Inspection Services

This program, also known as the Phytosanitary Field Inspection of Seed program, is performed to certify the mother plants of seed producing fields to allow for export. Not every country requires this inspection and you can contact us if you would like more information on individual country requirements.

This program is to certify ground or container grown plants as free from Ozonium Root Rot (ORR). ORR is a naturally occuring soil bourne fungus that affects over 2,000 plant species. Certification is needed for those wishing to export plants to certain counties or states. Please contact us if you have questions about a particular county's or state's requirements.


Pest Identification Services

The chief purpose of our pest identification service is to provide, at no charge, a means for the agricultural industry and members of the public to have plant pests identified. In addition, it gives our office an opportunity to be on the front lines of early detection of agricultural or landscape pests, as well as providing an opportunity to educate the public on exotic and introduced pests, quarantine restrictions, and safe and appropriate pest control options. Our expertise and resources limits our ability to identify pests of a non-agricultural nature, which may exclude pests that have human health effects. If a pest problem is presented that is one that is best confirmed by a medical laboratory and treated by a doctor, such as human parasites, we will refer these calls to public health or advise the caller to consult a doctor.

Additionally, for the safety of our staff, if a pest is found in the home, we would ask that the resident collect the pest and provide it to staff. Pests may be submitted via mail, drop off at our office, or we may send someone to pick up the sample at our earliest convenience.

We would encourage anyone interested in these services, to contact us. Emailed photographs of pests are encouraged, but a physical sample may be required for accurate determination.


Bee Swarms and Mosquitoes

For information about bee swarms and mosquitoes, or how to report a bee nest or possible mosquito breeding habitat, please contact Imperial County Vector Control.