Save our Citrus!

Huanglongbing (HLB) disease has arrived in California and is deadly to citrus trees. Canine Detection Services is working with others towards the goal of saving the California Citrus Industry from HLB.  The bacteria that causes the disease is transmitted by the elusive Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP).

Watch The Video "Save Our Citrus"

NEWSLETTER: Can Dogs Find Asian Citrus Psyllid?

The HLB-Multi-Agency Coordination Group has awarded a Fresno company, Canine Detection Services, a grant to test the concept that dogs can be trained to find Asian citrus psyllid. It is well documented that canine noses are stellar scent detectors. Dogs have been trained to find everything from drugs to fruit and vegetables as well as insects like bedbugs. Lisa Finke, the owner of Canine Detection Services, has purchased three dogs that have been working in a indoor setting since the beginning of August. Their indoor training is nearly complete and they recently started training in citrus groves. Although initial training is promising there is still much work to accomplish before the dogs are ready for the experiments that will test their effectiveness.

How can psyllid detecting canines benefit the citrus industry?

The ultimate goal would be to have the dogs find psyllids quicker and at lower numbers than people. As anyone that has sampled for ACP knows they can be difficult to find especially at low levels. The hope is that the dogs can locate unknown live ACP populations which would help direct pesticide treatments. ACP adults and nymphs collected with the assistance of dogs could be tested for CLas, the causal agent of HLB.


Meet The Dogs

Two Labrador retrievers and an English springer spaniel are the first dogs in the program. They were selected based on many criteria including their strong desire to hunt for a ball in various settings and high energy levels. Ball drive is important since balls are paired with ACP odor as part of the training process. The dogs are also being exposed to situations which they may find while working such as wearing booties to protect their feet and distractions such as domesticated and wild animals or traffic.

Contact Us To Learn More About The Dogs!