See advice for Florida citrus growers for leafminer management in citrus groves to protect new flushes and tree health.

Florida citrus growers should be vigilant about leafminer management this season, according to Xavier Martini, an assistant professor of entomology with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC). Martini spoke about it at a recent Citrus Health Forum in Quincy at the NFREC, according to a Citrus Industry article, advising growers to utilize pheromone disruption with pheromone-baited traps. See the details below.

Leafminer Management Advice

The article maintained that citrus growers should “emphasize leafminer management this year to preserve new flushes,” especially those affected by the freeze around Christmas. Martini advised citrus growers to utilize pheromone disruptions as a part of their strategies, such as pheromone-baited traps.

“The male is attracted by the pheromone of the female. What the pheromone disruption does is create a big mist of the pheromone, and the male is not able to find its mate. If there’s no mating, there’s no eggs, so less mines. It works pretty well. What we hope to do next year is put a spray that you can hang on the tree and deliver a dose of pheromone every couple of hours. That would be time saving and very convenient for growers,” Martini said, per the article.

It is advised for growers to scout for adult leafminers, which are attracted to the spring flush and other flush cycles. According to the article, “Trees are most susceptible to leafminer damage during the flushing period. Growers need to preserve these new flushes ahead of next harvest season. Trees require the new foliage since the prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures in December knocked the leaves off the trees in the cold-hardy citrus region.”

“Know the peaks of when the adults increase. Just knowing when your adults are here is a good indication of when you need to get ready for spraying a neonicotinoid,” Martini added.

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