Georgia Growers: Look Out for Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Georgia, Pests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) specialists are alerting Georgia citrus growers about an invasive pest that’s impacting Florida’s crop. Lebbeck mealybugs have yet to navigate their way to Georgia. But it is only a matter of time, says Lauren Diepenbrock, UF/IFAS assistant professor and entomologist. “It’ll get up to Georgia probably. We’re doing our best …

Lebbeck Mealybug on the Move in Florida Groves

Jim Rogers All In For Citrus Podcast, Pests

In the May episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, Lauren Diepenbrock, an entomologist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses her research on the lebbeck mealybug. The pest was first identified in Florida in the Boynton Beach area in 2009 in a natural habit. “It was not until 2019 that we found …

Put Predators to Work Against Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Pests, Research, Tip of the Week

By Eric Middleton and Lauren Diepenbrock Lebbeck mealybug is an emerging pest in Florida citrus. Infestations can damage fruit, flowers and branches. The pest can even kill young trees in severe cases. Lebbeck mealybug is often difficult to manage with insecticides alone due to the pest’s tendency to feed in protected spaces and the thick wax that covers adult mealybugs …

Developing a Management Plan for Lebbeck Mealybug

Jim Rogers Florida, IPM, Pests

By Lauren Diepenbrock Managing lebbeck mealybug has become an ongoing challenge in many citrus-growing areas of Florida. This pest expanded into 14 counties from 2019 to fall of 2021 and impacts both commercial and residential citrus. Damage includes distorted fruit and leaves, stem dieback and fruit drop. Loss of young trees can occur under extreme infestation scenarios. In addition to …

Lebbeck Mealybug Sanitation Strategies

Tacy Callies Pests, Tip of the Week

Lebbeck mealybug was first found causing damage in Florida citrus in Highlands County in 2019. As of this writing, it has now been found on citrus in 14 counties in Florida. This pest likely gains some dispersal assistance from wind events, either being blown on infested plant material or as crawlers on wind currents as has been noted for scale …

Scouting for Lebbeck Mealybugs

Tacy Callies Pests, Tip of the Week

By Lauren Diepenbrock Lebbeck mealybugs (Nipaecoccus viridis) have quickly made an impact on citrus groves in Central and South Florida since the pest was first found in 2019. While management techniques are still being studied, this article describes actions growers can take to find this pest before it becomes a problem. SOOTY MOLDLebbeck mealybugs excrete sugary honeydew, much like many …

Managing Lebbeck Mealybug

Ashley Robinson Pests

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock provided an update on lebbeck mealybug during the 2021 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute. The pest, first found in Florida commercial citrus in 2019, feeds on and damages citrus, causing up to 70% fruit drop in heavily infested groves. According to Diepenbrock, damaged fruit will not be marketable for …

Biological Controls for Lebbeck Mealybug

Tacy Callies Biologicals

Lebbeck mealybug (Nipaecoccus viridis) was first identified in Florida citrus in 2019 in Highlands County. It has now been documented in commercial citrus groves in 11 counties and in dooryard citrus plantings in two counties. While lebbeck mealybug can feed on most of the above-ground parts of a citrus tree, it is most damaging in the canopy, where it feeds …

Lebbeck Mealybug Management Update

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

Purple Guts? You’ve Got Lebbeck Mealybugs!

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

Pest Update: Lebbeck Mealybug

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

More Lebbeck Mealybug Finds in Florida Citrus

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

Lebbeck Mealybug Update

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

Growers Happy With Lebbeck Mealybug Response

Ernie Neff Pests

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 …

Pest Alert: Lebbeck Mealybug Found in Florida Citrus

Daniel Cooper Industry 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 …

Scout for Scale and Mealybug Crawlers

Tacy Callies Pests, Tip of the Week

By Lauren Diepenbrock While scale and mealybug pests commonly found in citrus have historically been controlled by predators and parasites, management advice for this group of insects is often requested. There are likely several underlying factors to these insects becoming more frequently encountered. This includes changes in insecticide management practices, changes in nutritional management, and increased scouting due to the …

Entomologist at Helm of Invasion Science Research Initiative

Jim Rogers Industry News Release, Pests

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has appointed internationally acclaimed entomologist and ecologist Matthew Thomas as director of the new Invasion Science Research Initiative (ISRI). Thomas will establish the framework for ISRI, which will bring together more than 120 UF/IFAS scientists from more than 20 departments currently dedicated to the detection, diversion, tracking and control …

What to Do About Three Florida Citrus Pests

Jim Rogers Citrus Expo, Pests

Entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock discussed control of three pests — lebbeck mealybug, Bulimulus sporadicus snails and diaprepes root weevils — at the recent Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher described the mealybug and snails as “new pest challenges” and diaprepes as the resurgence of an old pest. LEBBECK MEALYBUGLebbeck mealybug was …

Focused on Finding Solutions

Jim Rogers Research

By Michael Rogers As we approach a new citrus-growing season, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers and Extension agents working throughout the state renew their focus on finding solutions that growers can use in the short term to sustain their operations. While we value our longer-term research projects, efforts that provide tangible applications that …

New UF/IFAS Entomologist to Focus on Invasive Pests

Jim Rogers Pests, Research

Nicole Quinn recently joined the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) as an assistant professor of entomology. She’ll specialize in the biocontrol of invasive pests, insects and mites at the Hayslip Biological Control Research and Containment Laboratory. The lab is at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) in Fort Pierce. Quinn will begin …