See the results of UF/IFAS research into which screens worked the best for psyllid exclusion when growing citrus using CUPS.

Many Florida citrus growers have turned to growing Citrus Under Protective Screens, or CUPS, to thwart the insect vector of citrus greening, the Asian citrus psyllid. The idea is that screens keep the psyllids away from uninfected citrus while still allowing trees to get sunlight and rain. However, screens can stretch due to heat in the day, age, and stress from the screen’s weight or wind, meaning the screen’s holes could stretch wide enough to admit psyllids into the CUPS environment and infect citrus trees. UF/IFAS researchers studied the best options when it comes to psyllid exclusion, according to a Citrus Industry article. Explore the results below.

Best Screens for Psyllid Exclusion

Researchers tested eight woven screens for hole size and fiber diameters to see which worked best for psyllid exclusion in the lab and in the field. Results included the following insights:

  • “The PME1610 and Polysack40 screens prevented psyllids from reaching food and water” in a lab testing setting.
  • “40-mesh screen had the best results for keeping psyllids away from trees.”
  • “The use of screens with openings of 385 µm or less (~40 mesh or more) are suggested because they exclude the Asian citrus psyllid.”
  • “Screens further alters the pest management landscape by excluding larger insects like sharpshooters, stink bugs, weevils and many lepidopterous pests.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.