It’s a tiny insect, but its potential for damage is so great that citrus in entire counties and states are quarantined. The pest is Asian citrus psyllid, or ACP, and, aside from the damage ACP can do to new growth, such as burned tips and twisted leaves, it can carry Huanglongbing (HLB) disease. According to the USDA, HLB, also known as yellow shoot or citrus greening disease, is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world.
In states like Florida, most mature trees are assumed to be infected with HLB, but Texas citrus is still considered largely uninfected. For growers in this state, controlling the pest that transmits the disease is key to stopping its spread.
Scouting for ACP early and often and treating appropriately can help prevent infestation and help curtail pest populations. The University of Florida Extension provides multiple methods for scouting ACP. When scouting, look for winged adult insects that feed from a vertical position with black-tipped wings rising into the air, as well as flat, yellow-bodied nymphs that leave behind white honeydew and distorted leaves as they feed.
If you suspect that trees have been fed upon by ACP, quickly quarantine the trees to prevent the spread of possible HLB infection. In order to preserve fruit quality, do not mix fruit harvested from the presumably infected tree with that of uninfected trees. Avoid runoff from irrigation that passes from the presumably infected to uninfected trees.
Controlling its vector, ACP, is a primary tactic in managing HLB and slowing its spread. Minecto® Pro insecticide, the premix formulation of cyantraniliprole and abamectin, offers long-lasting residual control of a broad-spectrum of key citrus pests, including ACP, citrus rust mites and citrus leafminers.
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