More Lebbeck Mealybug Finds in Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffPests

Lebbeck mealybugs, found for the first time in Florida citrus in June in Highlands County, have now been confirmed in Hardee, DeSoto and Hendry county groves. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (DPI) verified the pest finds. Lauren Diepenbrock, University of Florida entomologist, has been working closely with growers as the lebbeck mealybug finds … Read More

Lebbeck Mealybug Update

Ernie NeffPests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock provides an update on the lebbeck mealybug, a new pest of Florida citrus detected in Highlands County in June. Diepenbrock reports that the mealybug was found June 14 by a Highlands County grower. It came from groves in Avon Park and Sebring. “It is definitely beyond one … Read More

Growers Happy With Lebbeck Mealybug Response

Ernie NeffPests

Growers who attended a recent meeting in Sebring about the lebbeck mealybug left with good feelings about the official response to the pest, said Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director and citrus agent. “Growers were very pleased with the information that was presented and how quickly we were able to get it out to the industry,” Hurner said. She reported … Read More

UF/IFAS Helps Assess, Manage New Fruit Bug

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, invasive, Pests, Research, Top


Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) are already trying to help growers figure out how to effectively manage the problems created by an invasive pest  – confirmed last week in Highlands County — that could further erode citrus production at a time when growers are just beginning to turn the corner on managing … Read More

Pest Alert: Lebbeck Mealybug Found in Florida Citrus

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Pests

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry issued an updated pest alert for lebbeck mealybug. Laurie Hurner, Highlands County Extension director, says this pest and its damage have been found in Highlands County citrus. “It has been misidentified as cottony cushion scale,” says Hurner. “It has been found in young trees under net and … Read More

Study Shows Mandarin IPM Needs Work

Len WilcoxIPM, Pests

According to a study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, current integrated pest management (IPM) techniques used in California mandarins may need to be adjusted to allow for differences between mandarins and oranges. The study suggests that following guidelines for oranges may lead to an overuse of pesticides in some situations. Almost all mandarins in America are grown in … Read More

Precision Agriculture Technologies in Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research, Technology

By Yiannis Ampatzidis Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management. Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform … Read More

Psyllid Control and Endemic HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Pests, Psyllids


In the early days of HLB in Florida, virtually all researchers and growers agreed that nothing was more important than controlling HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. But once HLB had spread to every grove (become endemic), many growers began questioning whether continued psyllid control was necessary. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lukasz Stelinski tackled that … Read More

Using Organic Insecticides for Psyllid Control

Ernie NeffOrganic, Pests


Organic insecticides rotated with either spray oil or insecticidal soap provided good Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) suppression in long-term studies in Florida, entomologist Jawwad Qureshi reported recently. Qureshi is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. Suppression of ACP is important because the pest spreads citrus … Read More

Ambrosia Beetle Update

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lauren Diepenbrock In October 2018, a potential “new pest” was found in large numbers in one grove in Hernando County, Florida. The damage to trees was dramatic, with dark staining throughout the trunk of the tree and beetle damage evident. It was something that would put any grower, Extension agent or researcher on alert. Fortunately, by working with Jiri … Read More

Sting Nematodes: A Growing Problem for Young Trees

Tacy CalliesPests

By Larry Duncan Successive hard freezes in Florida in the late 1980s resulted in widespread replanting of citrus groves. Within a few years, many groves on the Central Ridge had discrete patches of poorly growing, chlorotic young trees amid patches of vigorously growing trees. Stubby root symptoms on the declining trees suggested damage by sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus). This nematode … Read More

Pests on the Horizon

Ernie NeffPests


A shift toward reduced use of insecticides in Florida groves could lead to the emergence of pests that haven’t generally been a problem for years, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock said. Pests that could return or emerge in the face of reduced insecticide use include scales, mealybugs, false spider mites and fruit … Read More

Recent Pest Concerns in Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lauren Diepenbrock While Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) are an ongoing concern in Florida citrus due to their role in spreading the bacterium associated with citrus greening, they are not the only pest of concern to growers. Citrus leafminer (CLM) and root weevils are two pests that have been raising concerns and adding to the challenge of managing productive citrus … Read More

Growers to Learn About Pest Management at Workshop

Daniel CooperCitrus Greening, HLB Management, Industry News Release, Pests, Psyllids


Citrus growers can learn more about managing Asian citrus psyllids and other pests in a workshop Jan. 8 at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC). The psyllid can transmit the bacteria associated with greening disease to citrus trees and has already caused severe damage to Florida’s multi-billion-dollar-a-year citrus industry. … Read More

Two Species of Ambrosia Beetles Found in Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

Earlier this month, Citrus Industry reported in an article that University of Florida (UF) Extension entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock discovered a pest not previously found in Florida citrus. The pest was thought to be an ambrosia beetle. It has now been determined that two different species of ambrosia beetles (Euplatypus compositus and Xyleborus affinis) have been found. The related fungus is … Read More

A New Pest Concern for Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

University of Florida Extension entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock has discovered a pest not previously found in Florida citrus. “Recently, we have been finding some new pest signs in citrus … What we believe we found are signs of ambrosia beetles,” says Diepenbrock. She has fungus-infected citrus tree trunk samples in her lab and is waiting for adults to emerge in order … Read More

Peach Fruit Fly Pest Alert for Florida

Daniel Cooperfruit, Industry News Release, Pests

peach fruit fly

A male peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) (Tephritidae), was captured in a fruit fly detection trap on May 9 in Lake Worth, Florida, in Palm Beach County. A second male was captured about 1.25 miles away, also in Lake Worth on May 10. This is only the second time that this pest species has been found in Florida. A … Read More

Managing Mites in Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lukasz L. Stelinski, Jawwad A. Qureshi and Philip A. Stansly Florida citrus is host to four main groups of mites categorized by differences in lineage and morphology. However, only rust mites, spider mites and broad mites historically cause economic damage to commercially grown citrus in the state. The fourth group, referred to as false spider mites, are vectors elsewhere … Read More

Tools for Integrated Management of Citrus Psyllids and Leafminers

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research

By Jawwad A. Qureshi, Philip A. Stansly and Lukasz L. Stelinski Pest management has always been important for citrus production in Florida. It has become even more critical following invasion of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and citrus leafminer (CLM), due to their association with huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening) and canker diseases, respectively. ACP and CLM develop and reproduce … Read More

Robots May Soon Detect Grove Pests and Diseases

Ernie NeffDiseases, Pests, Technology


It may not be long before a grower sips coffee and works on the computer while a robot roams the grove checking for HLB-spreading psyllids and other pests and diseases. That’s thanks to machine vision software. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences scientist Arnold Schumann tells about research he has been conducting. Schumann says researchers have developed … Read More