Citrus growers can find recommendations for combating two recent citrus pest concerns.

Florida citrus growers are busy dealing with citrus greening, but it’s not the only pest concern that citrus growers need to deal with. According to a Citrus Industry article, 2018 added two new citrus pest concerns to growers’ plates. Explorer treatment options recommended 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, below.

Dealing With New Citrus Pest Concerns

1. Pest Name: Citrus Leafminer

Identification and detection: adults are small moths that lay eggs on citrus leaves. Detection is difficult because both adults and eggs are so small and blend in with the coloring of citrus trees. Often, infestation of citrus groves isn’t noticed until the bugs are widespread. Leaves can take on a shiny, waxy appearance, and larvae trails can be seen as brown or yellow squiggly lines.

What it does: eggs hatch and larvae burrow into a citrus tree leaves, causing damage to the leaves, reducing the photosynthetic capabilities of the trees, and creating openings that allow other diseases in, such as citrus canker.

Treatment Options: A variety of natural enemies once kept leaf miners in check, but heavy spraying targeting Asian citrus psyllids, the vector that transmits citrus greening, reduce beneficial bugs as well.

Since leaf miner infestation coordinates with flushing, the article recommends timing treatments with flush cycles.

2. Pest Name: Root Weevils

Identification and detection: Root Weevils encompass a variety of weevils: Diaprepes root weevil ( Diaprepes abbreviatus), the blue-green citrus root weevils ( Pachnaeus litus and  Pachnaeus opalus), the little leaf notcher ( Artipus floridanus) and the Fuller rose beetle ( Asynonychus godmani).

What it does: Adults lay eggs on host plants and the hatched larvae travel to the ground to feed on roots. This compromises a citrus tree’s ability to take up water and nutrients.

Treatment Options: The article recommends the treatments found in the Florida Citrus Production Guide, such as foliar sprays or chemical or physical barriers that prevent larvae from reaching the roots. Then, growers can choose the treatment for the weevil life stage that best fits their needs. It also recommends using resistant rootstock and nematodes to combat the larvae and other root-feeding stages.

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.