2010 Florida Citrus Pest Management Guide: Plant Bugs, Chewing Insect Pests, Caribbean Fruit Fly, and Thrips

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The insects listed in this section are generalist feeders for which citrus is not a preferred host. They are, therefore, only sporadic problems in Florida citrus. While these pests do not require routine treatment in all groves, periodic outbreaks can potentially have a dramatic impact on tree health and/or productivity. When these insects are detected at damaging levels, it is often a result of unusual climatic conditions or cultural practices. Some pests may also migrate into citrus from adjacent field or forage crops when these are harvested. Given that the distribution of these insects is rarely uniform, some monitoring effort should be directed towards delineating the boundaries of an infestation prior to any chemical application so that treatment can be limited to affected blocks only. Benefits of 'spot' applications, or restricting treatments to affected areas only, are twofold: 1) direct monetary savings realized through reduced labor and material costs, and 2) the preservation of unsprayed refuges for beneficials that ensures rapid recovery of natural enemy populations and accelerates the post-treatment restoration of biological control. Frequent monitoring (especially during growth flushes), proper identification, and timely application of the appropriate control measures are all essential to reducing the impact of these pests.

P.A. Stansly
C.C. Childers
H.N. Nigg
S.E. Simpson
University of Florida, IFAS Extension