A UF/IFAS researcher has conducted a two-year study that showed organic insecticides to be successful in controlling Asian citrus psyllids.

Asian citrus psyllids (ACPs) have been enemy #1 since citrus greening was detected in a south Florida grove in 2005. As the vector that spreads citrus greening, also called HLB, from tree to tree, citrus growers have focused a great deal on insecticide sprayings targeting the tiny insects. Unfortunately, many ACP populations developed a resistance to the insecticides being used. An entomologist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Jawwad Qureshi, believes organic insecticides may offer another option, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the results of Qureshi’s two-year study below.

The Benefits of Organic Insecticides

Qureshi shared the results of his study at the Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park in early April. According to the article, Qureshi maintained that organic insecticides offered a number of benefits when compared with conventional insecticides. “We did see more suppression (of ACP) in the conventional program. But then we also see great suppression with organic programs, particularly when we were using the organic insecticide in rotation with either 435 oil or M-Pede, which is an insecticidal soap.”

While conventional insecticides did show greater suppression when compared with organic insecticides, but when used in rotation as part of a program, the organic program sometimes “offered comparable results to the conventional program.” Additionally, Qureshi shared that “organic insecticide rotated with spray oil provided better fruit yields than conventional spray programs,” and maintained that an organic insecticide could be added to a conventional insecticide program.

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