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Pest Alert: Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid Found in Florida Panhandle

June 2, 2017

The Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as yellow shoot or citrus greening, is a fast-spreading disease that is on the rise in the U.S. According to a report from the University of Florida Extension, there are newly confirmed cases of the disease on citrus trees in the Panhandle of Florida. The carrier of the disease, Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), has also been reported in the area. And where you have ACP, you will likely find HLB.

The first sign of infection is the yellowing and thickening of leaves and the corky appearance of veins. The fruit will also appear small, discolored and uneven in growth; the taste may be extra sour. When trees are severely infected, sometimes the only course of action is to dig up the tree altogether.

While the majority of mature, fruit-bearing trees in Florida groves are assumed infected, there are still opportunities to help prevent disease proliferation. In the case of young, new plantings that are not yet infected, curtailing psyllid populations is priority number one.

The adult insect is winged with black coloration on the tips of the wings, and feeds from a vertical position, with wings rising into the air. Nymphs have a flat, yellow body and leave behind white honeydew and distorted leaves as they feed.

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.