Citrus greening has yet to be detected in California’s commercial groves, despite the presence of the host insect for nearly a decade. UC Davis Professor Neil McRoberts called that an optimistic sign, but warned against complacency.

In a webinar Thursday for a CDFA-industry collaborative, McRoberts said the progress the state has made “deserves a gold star” compared to how other places in the world have responded to the threat.

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Beyond practices like tree removal and immediate treatment, California has benefited from other factors that may have kept the insect at bay better than in Florida and Texas, he explained. This includes a Mediterranean climate and topography that limits movement. Years of data gathered on the insect have also helped researchers better focus their efforts and limited resources.