Researchers with UF/IFAS and other institutions have collaborated to create an attract-and-kill device that targets the Asian citrus psyllid.

The Asian citrus psyllid is the vector that transports the bacteria that cause citrus greening from citrus tree to citrus tree, and a two year-long collaboration between researchers at a variety of institutions has culminated in an attract-and-kill device. It is aimed at attracting and killing the Asian citrus psyllid, according to a Citrus Industry article. Read the details below.

Details of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Attract-and-Kill Device

The details of the Asian citrus psyllid attract-and-kill device were outlined by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski at a citrus nursery workshop in Lake Alfred on October 25th. According to Stelinski, the device was developed in a partnership featuring researchers with UF/IFAS, the USDA, and researchers in Texas and California, two other states starting to feel the presence of citrus greening. “We have a prototype that is very much functional that’s being evaluated in the field now,” he said in the article.

The device is said to be best suited for enclosed spaces, such as nurseries and Citrus Under Protective Cover (CUPS), but the possibilities are wide open. “We envision it to potentially be effective in numerous scenarios,” Stelinski said. “These are places where broad-spectrum sprays are sometimes more difficult to apply. Also, they have an enclosed and limited psyllid population. In such enclosed spaces, we’ve now demonstrated in numerous experiments that we can kill off the existing psyllid population very effectively, even in cases when we deploy these devices in the presence of citrus.” According to the article, Stelinski maintained psyllid populations were killed within four to six days in an enclosed area.

In terms of how it works, Stelinski shared, “This device is meant to attract psyllids and eliminate them, because when they land on the device they pick up a small amount of a toxicant that they ingest.”

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