UF/IFAS researchers share tips on scouting for pests in IPCs, or individual protective covers.

Individual protective covers, or IPCs, are being utilized by many Florida citrus growers to give young citrus trees a fighting chance against citrus greening. The IPCs create a mesh “cage” that keep Asian citrus psyllids, the vector that spreads citrus greening, away from the young citrus trees; then the psyllids are unable to infect the young citrus trees. However, researchers and growers have found other pests in ICPs. A Citrus Industry article written by Jawwad Qureshi, an assistant professor at the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, shares tips for scouting for pests that can be found in IPCs. See the details below.

Looking for Pests in IPCs

According to the article, pests in IPCs can includescales, mites, leafminers, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and mealybugs.” While psyllids can be kept out, other pests can find their way into UPCs, causing damage to young citrus trees. Qureshi recommended growers check IPCs for pests on a monthly basis.

In the article, Qureshi advised growers to “examine inside the IPCs for the presence of pests every two months. At the time of examination, tree canopies need to be checked thoroughly for pest problems. Scales or mealybugs present on the leaf surfaces or stems or feeding damage to the foliage from larvae are visible from the outside.”

Once the pest is identified, the appropriate chemical or biological controls can be utilized. Qureshi maintained that pests can cause damage quickly in IPCs, so the sooner pests are identified, the better.

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