Cannella to hold hearing in L.A. on invasive pests

LOS ANGELES – Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) will hold an informational hearing tomorrow at the California Science Center in Los Angeles to highlight the economic cost of invasive pest infestations on rural and urban economies, the importance of early detection and eradication, and the roles played by local, state and federal agencies in preventing invasive pests. Invasive species not only hurt California’s agriculture industry, but the threat they pose to native plants, animals and ecosystems can also contribute to higher food prices, electrical problems and clogged water infrastructure systems. Recently, much of Florida’s citrus crop was destroyed by the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which spreads Huanglongbing, the most devastating disease of citrus in the world. The pest was first discovered in California in 2008 and was recently found in Ventura County. According to the Center for Invasive Species Research, invasive pests like the Asian Citrus Psyllid cause approximately $3 billion in losses to California’s economy every year.