Lebbeck Mealybug Management Update

Ernie NeffPests

An update on lebbeck mealybug, a relatively new pest of Florida citrus, was provided recently by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. Diepenbrock, who works at the Citrus Research and Education Center, prepared the presentation for the April Florida Citrus Growers Institute, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Lebbeck mealybug was found in … Read More

More Mexican Fruit Flies Found in Texas Citrus

Tacy CalliesPests

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) established a Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens or Mexfly) quarantine in a residential area in Zapata, Texas. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area. APHIS confirmed one Mexfly larva from … Read More

Asian Giant Hornet Threatens Honey Bees

Ernie NeffPests

The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), typically 1.5 to 2 inches long and a threat to honey bee colonies, has been found in Washington state. Amy Vu and Jamie Ellis with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory recently provided information about the pest. “This insect has recently been called … Read More

Italian Grower Tackles Nematodes, Naturally

Ernie NeffPests

Italian citrus grower Giovanni Battista Spanò will combat the citrus nematode, Tylenchulus semipenetrans, with natural methods involving sowing and green manure of the radish cultivar Defender. The nematodes cause slow decline of citrus. “Nematodes and fungal diseases of the soil are a problem that can be easily solved without using harmful chemical products,” says Spanò. “We can just exploit the … Read More

Watch Out for Invasive Species

Daniel CooperPests


By Clint Thompson April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants help in identifying invasive species that threaten the food supply and cause plant diseases. Samantha Simon, USDA’s executive director of emergency and domestic programs, says invasive species can threaten agriculture and many farming operations, especially in the Southeast. She … Read More

Incentive-Based Tariffs and Invasive Pests

Ernie NeffPests, Trade


Incentive-based policies have had success in some industries by helping regulate air quality, control pollution and protect wildlife and fisheries. But two University of Maryland professors in agriculture and resource economics have determined that incentive-based tariffs likely aren’t the answer to controlling invasive pests in imported fruits and vegetables. Erik Lichtenberg and Lars Olson published their findings recently in the … Read More

Seeking California Citrus Growers With Roof Rat Problems

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Pests

Researchers from the University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension and UC Davis are beginning a two-year study to develop an effective management program for removing roof rats from orchards. The researchers are looking for growers who will allow the UC to work in their orchards to test methods for monitoring roof rat activity. Roof rats can run rampant and cause … Read More

Pests in CUPS and IPCs

Ernie NeffCUPS, Pests


Citrus under protective screen (CUPS) and young trees covered with individual protective covers (IPCs) have generally been well protected from HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids, but not from all other pests. Entomologist Jawwad Qureshi says the psyllids only get to trees when a CUPS structure or IPC is damaged, as happened to CUPS during Hurricane Irma in 2017. “Otherwise they do … Read More

CDFA’s Year in Review

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Pests

The mission of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is to promote and protect the food supply, enhance trade and protect the environment. The agency annually provides information on the steps it takes to fulfill its mission goals. In such a diverse and highly populated state, the challenges are great. Much of the growing regions are geographic islands … Read More

Purple Guts? You’ve Got Lebbeck Mealybugs!

Ernie NeffPests

One of Lauren Diepenbrock’s props at a Jan. 14 OJ break at the Citrus Research and Education Center was a paper plate bearing the message “Easy diagnostic: smashed lebbeck mealybug = purple guts.” Diepenbrock, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist, explains the meaning of the plate’s message. UF/IFAS researcher Lance Osborne found a lebbeck … Read More

Citrus Pest Management: More Than Just Psyllids

Tacy CalliesPests

By Lauren Diepenbrock Non-psyllid, soft-bodied insects are common in Florida citrus. Their ability to cause damage varies by pest, pest population size, tree age and tree variety. Soft-bodied insects include scales, mealybugs, whiteflies and aphids, all of which are small and can be hard to detect until the telltale sign of sooty mold development appears on their excrement (honeydew) or … Read More

The ABCs of Psyllid Management

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids

By Lukasz L. Stelinski and Jawwad A. Qureshi Getting rid of Asian citrus psyllids (ACP) from your grove is almost like trying to remove the sand from a beach. You can make a huge noticeable impact, but getting every last grain of sand will be impossible. What makes the prospect of ACP management so complex is achieving it in a … Read More

UF Researcher Seeks Biological Control of ACP

Tacy CalliesPests, Regulation


In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Ozgur Batuman talks about his research into biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Batuman is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. ACP control is necessary for management of citrus greening disease, or huanglongbing (HLB). Batuman’s … Read More

Psyllid Management: Organic and Conventional Systems

Tacy CalliesPests, Psyllids, Research


By Jawwad Qureshi Management of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is needed in multiple environments, such as organic and conventional production systems and urban areas. However, the tools and approach may be different depending on the circumstances. Chemical control is the primary method used in commercial production to reduce psyllid populations, but the increased use of insecticides negatively affects the … Read More

Long-Horned Beetle Update

Ernie NeffPests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock provides an update on the long-horned beetle, the newest Florida citrus pest. The beetle was discovered in a Hendry County grove in September. Diepenbrock reports that a grove crew worker “hit a branch and the branch fell right off.” After finding a hole in the branch, the … Read More

Pest Update: Lebbeck Mealybug

Ernie NeffPests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock provided an update on the lebbeck mealybug pest at a recent Highlands County citrus growers’ meeting. The mealybug, first found in Highlands groves in June, feeds on and damages citrus, leading to fruit drop and crop loss. Diepenbrock reports that surveys conducted by the Florida Department of … Read More

New Citrus Pest in Hendry County

Tacy CalliesPests

A new pest of Florida citrus has been found in the southwest region of the state. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock told growers in Sebring on Sept. 25 about recent finds of a cerambycid, or long-horned beetle, in Hendry County groves. Diepenbrock, who works at the Citrus Research and Education Center in … Read More

IPCs Effective Against Psyllids and HLB

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Pests, Psyllids


Long-time multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, who serves Southwest Florida counties, says individual protective covers (IPCs) work well in the fight against citrus greening, also known as HLB. “They have been very effective in controlling or managing citrus greening, because they don’t allow the citrus psyllid, which is the vector of the disease, to get to the tree,” Zekri … Read More

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