See recommendations on fighting three common pests in citrus from a UF/IFAS entomologist at the recent Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo.

The recent Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo included a wealth of information for Florida citrus growers, including an informational session by a UF/IFAS entomologist on combating three common pests in citrus. According to a Citrus Industry article, entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock discussed combating three pests, mealybugs, snails, and diaprepes, and that she said “the mealybug and snails as “new pest challenges” and diaprepes as the resurgence of an old pest.” See the details below.

Treating Three Common Pests in Citrus

According to the article, Diepenbrock said:

Lebbeck Mealybug

Diepenbrock said early infestation leads to fruit drop, while infestation later in fruit development can cause distorted fruit. Infestation once fruit is fully expanded won’t distort fruit, but the fruit will be unmarketable.”

Treating Mealybug includes:

  • Target developing populations.
  • Systemic materials will reduce offspring by killing females.
  • Systemics have fewer impacts on mealybug predators.
  • Growers should include predators in their management plans by limiting he use of broad-spectrum materials when predators are active.

Bulimulus Snails

“In citrus groves, the snails impact irrigation, feed on young trees inside individual protective covers and add to existing damage such as freeze damage to trunks. Bulimulus snails are present year-round and are attracted to moisture as well as to dead, damaged, and decaying plant material.”

Treating Snails includes:

  • Snails can’t be killed with insecticides.
  • “Some growers have had short-term success with Deadline GT molluscicide, which contains metaldehyde active ingredient and an attractive odor,” but it’s a short-term solution.
  • Removal of snails through people and equipment is the current best long-term option.


Diaprepes was likely kept down by efforts to target Asian citrus psyllids (ACP), but they have made a comeback as ACP sprays have been reduced.

Treating Diaprepes includes:

  • “Those with high diaprepes pressure” should aim to “control of larvae and reduction of the adult population.”
  • “Larvae can be controlled by preventing access to roots with barrier insecticide or with tightly woven ground cloth.”
  • “Nematodes can also be used to control larvae.”
  • ”Severalbroad-spectrum materials have efficacy against adult diaprepes.”

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.