Typical Asian citrus psyllid. Photo by Michael Rogers.
Well, now we understand why the Florida Citrus Commission is trying to reboot Captain Citrus - our citrus industry is teetering on the brink thanks to a weensy insect known as the Asian citrus psyllid. Experts say the little bugger feeds on citrus leaves, depositing a powerful nutrient-destroying bacteria as they munch that has no known cure. Agriculture heads are seeking aid from the federal government in eliminating this psyllid and fear if help doesn't arrive soon enough, oranges might be a thing of the past.
That sounds a little panicky, but no citrus experts are we. However, there is no reason not to be optimistic. If William C. Gorgas could manage to wipe out yellow fever-transmitting mosquitos during construction of the Panama Canal in the early 1900s, then America can surely crush the Asian citrus psyllid in present day.
And if we can't, just think of how cool we'll sound when we're describing orange juice to our great grandkids. "You could mix it with vodka and make something called a Screwdriver!"
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.