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Fight Back Against Citrus Pests

April 30, 2019

Citrus growers in the U.S. face many challenges, including pressure from Asian citrus psyllid, citrus rust mite and citrus leafminer. To protect future yields, now is the time to scout and, if necessary, treat for these common pests.

This agronomic image shows an Asian citrus psyllid.

Asian citrus psyllid

  • Adults are 3 to 4 mm in length.
  • Adults have brown bodies with brown or black heads and bands around the outside of wings.
  • Potential for 9 to 10 generations per year.

Asian citrus psyllids vector citrus greening. Symptoms of the disease include twig dieback, mottled leaves, and yellow shoots. There is no cure for citrus greening and most infected trees will die, so preventive action is critical.


This agronomic image shows a citrus rust mite

Citrus rust mite

  • Adults are about .15 mm in length.
  • Adults are yellowish in color with a wedge-shaped body.
  • Potential for multiple generations per year.

Citrus rust mites can damage both the fruit and the leaves of citrus trees. Citrus rust mite feeding on the epidermal cells of the plant can result in smaller fruit. Leaf damage appears as dull, bronze-like color and patches of discoloration across the leaves.  Populations move back and forth between leaves and fruit and if sufficiently high, may cause defoliation.


this agronomic image shows citrus leafminer damage

Citrus leafminer mines

Citrus leafminer

  • Adults are up to 3 mm in length.
  • Larvae have black mouths and are colorless at first, turning greenish and yellowish as they mature.
  • There is a new generation about every 3 weeks.

Citrus leafminers eat their way through leaves, creating visible mines that indicate their presence. In addition to this direct leaf damage, citrus leafminers create potential entry points for citrus canker bacteria. These pests can cause devastating yield losses and multi-season infestations.

Take the Insect IQ Quiz to test your knowledge of insect pests. If you are a certified crop adviser (CCA), you’ll be eligible to receive continuing education units for completing the quiz.

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All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.