The long-horn beetle is the latest pest to threaten Florida citrus, and UF/IFAS wants growers to be on the lookout.
The long-horn beetle was discovered in September in a grove in Hendry County, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (DPI) has since found more instances of beetle infections in Hendry County. According to a Citrus Industry article, other infestations have all been inside Hendry County, adding to the county’s list of citrus woes when it comes to citrus pests and diseases. See what to look out for below.
Details of Long-Horn Beetle Infestation
The original infestation was discovered when grove workers discovered beetle larvae in a weakened branch that broke easily. More broken branches were found in the grove that broke either in heavy wind or with a little pressure; growing fruit also caused branches to break. That’s when the beetle larvae were detected.
UF/IFAS entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock maintained in the article that “the best thing that you could do is to get the deadwood out of your field,” because then the beetles don’t have an “opportunity to get into a tree that is already weakened.” This is because there is not much in the way of treatment that can be done for an infestation. “There’s not a whole heck of a lot we can do,” Diepenbrock said, because the larvae are inside of the wood.
Growers who believe they may have infestations of the beetle should email Diepenbrock at email@example.com; the DPI will be contacted to conduct a survey in the grove.
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.