South Korea has begun rejecting consignments of Californian citrus due to the presence of Fuller’s rose beetle eggs, California Ag Today has reported.
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, director of the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Lindcove Research and Extension Centre, said the issue stems from a change to the Asian nation’s quarantine procedures.
“Previously, South Korea would fumigate shipments of citrus from California once they arrived in South Korea to rid the product of any Fuller's rose beetle eggs that hid out under the stamen of the fruit,” Grafton-Cardwell told California Ag Today.
The move is prompting the Californian industry to devise new ways to control the beetle, which is not considered a pest in the US, according to Grafton-Cardwell.
“Right now, we have a team of researchers looking at alternative fumigants to methyl bromide, and infield strategies and treatments to reduce the population,” Grafton-Cardwell added.
“The Fuller’s rose beetle itself does not generally cause economic damage in citrus, but the presence of viable eggs on fruit exported to other countries such as South Korea can be a quarantine concern.”