The glassy-winged sharpshooter has been discovered here, farm officials announced Thursday. The flying pest carries a bacteria that causes the plant-killing Pierce's disease.
Although it has ravaged crops in 13 counties, the sharpshooter had not been spotted before in Imperial County, which has a $1-billion-a-year agricultural economy.
The insects were found in citrus trees in four locations on the west side of the Salton Sea near the Riverside County line. The state has a $20-million campaign to control the pest with spraying, inspections and the release of wasps.