The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week maintains it’s time for ACP dormant-season sprays for citrus to combat citrus greening.

The UF/IFAS Tip of the Week article maintains it is time for ACP dormant-season sprays to combat citrus greening by targeting Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) by taking advantage of the ACP’s life cycle. According to the article, “With little to no flush available for offspring production, dormant-season sprays take advantage of a largely uniform population of psyllids at this time of the year.” Studies have show that dormant-season sprays reduce ACP populations while having the least effect on beneficial insects.

Details of ACP Dormant-Season Sprays

ACP dormant-season sprays target adult populations of ACPs, the insect vector that spreads citrus greening. This means there is a lower breeding population which keeps future populations in check.

The article also maintains that “Dormant sprays can be incorporated into a program that takes advantage of ACP’s reliance on tree phenology for development. A budbreak phenology model can then be used to target adults at the beginning of each major flush cycle to reduce the reproductive adult population, followed by additional sprays targeted to periods of heavy flush to kill nymphs as they are developing to keep the ACP population down. Ongoing research has shown this management plan to reduce ACP more than monthly sprays.

The article was written by Lauren Diepenbrock, an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred (UF/IFAS CREC). Diepenbrock added that “Dormant sprays are a proven method used across multiple crops around the world to reduce pest pressure prior to spring initiation of plant growth and pest population growth. As such, these sprays are an integral part of an integrated pest management program.”

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