Grove Border Control for Psyllids

Ernie NeffPsyllids

Adult Asian citrus psyllid on a citrus leaf.
(USDA/ARS Photo by David Hall)

Controlling HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids along grove borders can be part of a cost-efficient psyllid control program, says University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist Lukasz Stelinski.

“Psyllids are found in borders in much greater frequencies than any other place within the grove,” Stelinski says. “This is a place that they congregate … Anything that helps protect the border will decrease (psyllid control) costs and have significant impact on psyllid populations.”

Methods to control psyllids in borders include targeting these areas with sprays, applying kaolin clay and installing living windbreaks along new grove borders, Stelinski says.

According to Stelinski, studies have found “nearly equivalent psyllid population densities with border sprays compared to whole-grove sprays during times of the year when trees were not flushing.” He says that doesn’t mean that whole-grove sprays can be replaced with border sprays all the time. But, he says, “it’s a place where costs can be reduced” by using only border sprays at certain times.

Stelinski addressed the grove border issue with psyllids at the recent Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute in Avon Park. Many of the presentations made at the event focused on ways growers can cope with HLB, including Asian citrus psyllid management methods. 

Hear more from Stelinski:

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large