New Potential Pest for Florida Citrus

Ernie NeffPests

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS/DPI) recently issued a pest alert about snout scale (Florinia proboscidaria), a potential Florida citrus pest. The alert is aimed at preventing the pest’s introduction to and establishment in commercial citrus in Florida. “This is a heads up that we have a new potential pest to keep an … Read More

Texas Mexfly Quarantine Reduced

Ernie NeffPests

Federal and Texas regulators on Aug. 25 removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Harlingen, Texas. Harlingen is in Cameron County. Dale Murden, a grower and president of Texas Citrus Mutual, said only 550 acres of Texas citrus remain under quarantine out of a state total of approximately 27,000 acres of citrus. “So we are happy about that,” … Read More

Pest Management Under Bags

Ernie NeffCitrus Expo, Pests

Many Florida citrus growers in recent years have used individual protective covers (IPCs), often referred to as “bags,” for pest management, especially to protect young trees from HLB-spreading Asian citrus psyllids. Lauren Diepenbrock addressed the benefits and challenges of IPCs at this year’s virtual Citrus Expo. Diepenbrock is an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of … Read More

Cover Crops and Nematicides for Sting Nematode Management

Tacy CalliesPests

By Larry Duncan, Johan Desaeger and Sheng-Yen Wu The citrus row middle habitat changed profoundly beginning in the 1970s as mowing replaced disking for weed management. This change ended the costly cycle of cutting and regrowing citrus roots near the soil surface and reduced soil erosion, among other benefits. Mowing also allowed a seasonal succession of native plants to flourish, … Read More

Mexfly Quarantine Reduced in Texas

Ernie NeffPests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) in late July removed the Mexican fruit fly (Mexfly) quarantine area in Lasara, Texas. Lasara is in Willacy County. The quarantine in Lasara had been established in January. The agencies had restricted interstate movement of regulated articles from the area to … Read More

Snails Posing Problems in Florida Groves

Ernie NeffPests

A snail causing problems in Highlands County and South Florida groves “appears to be popping up all over the state,” said entomologist Lauren Diepenbrock. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researcher identified the snails as Bulimulus sporadicus. “It was first documented in Florida in 2009,” Diepenbrock said. “Citrus is not the only crop to be … Read More

APHIS Annual Report Highlights Citrus Efforts

Tacy CalliesDiseases, Pests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently released an annual report titled “Plant Protection and Quarantine: Helping U.S. Agriculture Thrive — Across the Country and Around the World.” The document includes updates on efforts to manage citrus diseases. “PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine) stands shoulder-to-shoulder with citrus growers to combat citrus canker, huanglongbing (HLB … Read More

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