GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida homeowners with citrus trees on their property now have a new tool to fight off deadly citrus greening disease: parasitic wasps.
The Gainesville Sun reports that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will provide residents who apply with small vials of the wasp called tamarixia, which hunt the invasive Asian citrus psyllid that spreads the fatal disease.
The state provides more than 1 million tamarixia each year to commercial growers, but this is the first year homeowners have been eligible to receive them.
The wasps are only one method of battling citrus greening, which has devastated the state’s citrus industry.
But state scientists hope it can work well in a smaller, urban setting where the wasps fly between neighboring properties.