In San Diego and other locations, the US Border Patrol has issued a warning about citrus imports in advance of important Mexican-American holidays being celebrated this weekend. Día de los Inocentes on Friday and Día de los Muertos on Saturday both traditionally involve the construction of altars to the memories of lost loved ones, with displays of flowers, photographs, candles, various artifacts, and fruit.
Citrus is a perennial favorite, but this year, families are being warned that they should be sure to source their citrus fruit and flowers from their own side of the border.
Why? Mexican imports could carry the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that causes a severe and devastating citrus disease. The Border Patrol is anxious to prevent outbreaks of citrus disease and other agricultural problems in the US, so it will be monitoring imports closely for any signs of unwanted invaders. Fortunately, lots of San Diego landscapers can hook customers up with safe and approved sources of floral and fruit displays for their family altars!
Oranges, sour oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, sweet limes, guava, mangoes, peaches, and pomegranates are all on the forbidden list along with orange jasmine and a variety of flowers. If you're not sure about an import, ask ahead.