Citrus under protective screen (CUPS) systems in Florida provide trees significant protection from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the HLB it spreads. Several other pests are also significantly reduced in CUPS, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers reported. For instance, citrus leafminer (CLM) populations were reduced by more than 80%.
Large predators such as ladybeetles and lacewings were not observed in the CUPS. However, predatory mites and parasitoids of several pests were common, researchers stated in a CUPS presentation that was available at the UF/IFAS booth at Citrus Expo. The presentation addressed the monitoring and treatment of pests within CUPS structures.
Regular monitoring using multiple tools and methods is a way to obtain instant information on pest situations and make management decisions. Key points about monitoring in the presentation include the following:
- Yellow sticky cards capture ACP adults and thrips while the CLM pheromone trap captures adult male moths.
- The tap sampling method detects ACP, CLM, thrips and mites. For mites, using a black instead of white background provides better results from tap sampling.
- Visual examination of shoots, stems, flowers and fruit is critical to detect infestation by ACP, CLM, scales, mealybugs, thrips and mites. A magnifying lens is needed to detect these pests, particularly in their immature stages.
- ACP nymphs and CLM larvae are found in young shoots with newly developing soft leaves. Scales, mealybugs and mites are found on foliage and fruit. Thrips are common in flowers.
Chemical treatments are more effective when the pest population is low and reduce the need for repeated applications to control a high infestation.
Chances of pests developing resistance to a particular mode of action (MOA) are high in CUPS if the same MOA is repeated because pests are largely confined within the structure once populations establish.
Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Share this Post