Best and Worst Ways to Control Psyllids

Ernie NeffHLB Management, Psyllids


Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski

Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski, a University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist, reports on the psyllid control methods that produce the best and worst results:

“We looked at abandoned (groves); intermittently managed (groves), which we considered to be five or fewer insecticide sprays per year; we looked at organically managed groves; and we looked at what we called conventionally managed groves that had between nine and 12 insecticide sprays per year.

“And what we found is that those (groves) that were managed intermittently, so they were only receiving about five sprays per year, had the greatest abundance of psyllids. And so those populations, we feel, are rebounding and not being managed effectively by those insecticide treatments.

“So, consistent, continuous management had the greatest reduction in psyllid densities and had the most effective control.”

Asian citrus psyllids were in Florida several years before HLB was discovered in the state in 2005. Despite the efforts to control psyllids, HLB has drastically reduced Florida’s citrus crop and put the industry in jeopardy.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large