HLB-greening citrus disease was found to be present in Belize on 1st May 2009. The initial find was in samples of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) - the vector for the bacteria that causes the disease. At that time HLB positive psyllids were found in nine locations in the north, east, south and west of the country - effectively showing that the disease could not be restricted to an isolated location and so it would not have been possible, at that stage, to consider eradiation.
Immediately after discovering the disease presence in the country, CREI staff, together with BAHA and OIRSA staff, began a delimiting survey to determine the extent of the disease spread around the industry.
Currently, thanks to the support of OIRSA, more detailed surveys for the disease are taking place around the industry and where HLB-positive plants are found the survey team is working with the owners to destroy and remove the trees.
CREI now has the capacity to diagnose for HLB-greening in the laboratory and is currently providing tests to growers free of charge. If growers find a tree that looks like it is infected with HLB-greening they should check out the section in this website, on recognizing HLB-symptoms, and make an immediate report to BAHA or CREI staff.