• Date
    December 12, 2014
    The most important whiteflies in Florida are citrus whitefly (Dialeurodes citri), the cloudy-winged whitefly (D. citrifollii), the wooly whitefly (Aleurothrixus floccosus), and citrus blackfly (A. woglumi). Whiteflies are dependent on new growth for their development and reproduction; consequently, they are active in citrus only during periods of flush. Large populations of these insects can deposit considerable volumes of honeydew, leading to sooty mold accumulation. These insects are constantly present in most groves in very low numbers and are normally under good biological control by various specialist parasitoids and generalist predators. Populations are rarely heavy enough to warrant treatment unless biological control has been disrupted. Serious infestations of whiteflies are an indication that management practices should be reviewed.
  • Date
    December 12, 2014
    The most important armored scale pests in Florida are snow scale (Unaspis citri), Florida red scale (Chrysomphalus aonidium), purple scale (Cornuaspis beckii), Glover’s scale (Lepidosaphes gloveri), and chaff scale (Parlatoria pergandii). Important soft scale insects include Caribbean black scale (Saisseta neglecta), brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidium), and Florida wax scale (Ceroplastes floridensis). Pest management of both armored and soft scale insects in Florida citrus is based on highly successful action of native and introduced exotic natural enemies, including predators, parasites, and pathogens. These relatively specific natural enemies co-exist with their hosts in the citrus grove under most conditions and can respond to suppress pest numbers when they periodically increase in individual groves. Thus, scale insects should not be considered key pests in development of seasonal pesticidal programs. However, there are conditions under which natural enemies may not function well. It is in these cases that scale insects achieve importance in our overall IPM program. Factors that are most often responsible for increases in scale populations are: a) weather conditions that disrupt biological control; b) movement of the pest to groves where natural enemies do not occur; and c) disruption of natural enemies by other practices, particularly the repeated use of […]
  • Date
    December 10, 2014
    Also known as the Black Rat, Ship Rat, & here in Florida, the Fruit or Citrus Rat. This is the only rat we have to worry about here in Orlando. All of the rat photos you see on this website are from Roof Rats. I have never encountered a single Norway Rat down here. Roof rats are usually gray to slightly brown in color. Adults are typically 8 inches long, with a 9 inch long tail. The tail is long, dark, and scaley. Roof rats prefer warmer, more tropical climates. Roof Rats get their name because they spend about 90% of their time above ground. The live in trees, run on power lines, the tops of fences, and they really love to live in the attics of houses. Females have 4-6 litters per year, with 6-8 young per litter. They are fully weaned within a month, and sexually mature in as little as two months. They don’t live very long in the wild, seldom more than a year. Roof Rats are nocturnal, which is why you hear them scampering in your attic in the middle of the night.
  • Date
    December 12, 2014
    Citrus mealybugs (Planococous citri) are normally under good biological control by a complex of natural enemies in citrus. Their waxy covering, sedentary lifestyle, and preference for feeding in concealed locations make them very difficult to kill with insecticides. Only the most toxic materials have appreciable efficacy against mealybugs, materials that also pose risks to the environment and are most likely to disrupt biological control of other pests. Consequently, treatment is warranted only in cases of severe infestations, or when the fruit itself is attacked. Systemic materials give superior control while minimizing impacts on beneficials, but may not act quickly enough to prevent damage when high populations are established.
  • Date
    December 12, 2014
    The most common aphids in Florida citrus are the green citrus aphid (Aphis spiraecola), the cotton or melon aphid (A. gossypii), and the brown citrus aphid (Toxoptera citricida). Brown citrus aphid is particularly important as a vector of citrus tristeza virus. Aphids are dependent on the availability of newly expanding leaves for their development and reproduction, so these insects may be problems during periods of new citrus growth, primarily spring and fall. Aphids are largely controlled by many generalist natural enemies such as ladybeetles, hoverflies, and lacewings, that normally maintain their populations, and those of other flush-feeding insects, below levels that warrant treatment in producing groves. Excessive honeydew accumulation on leaves will result in the growth of sooty mold fungus that blocks light and reduces photosynthetic activity. However, mature groves sustain little damage and should not need treatment. Treatment is warranted only in young groves (< 3 yrs old) if a large portion (i.e. > 50%) of expanding terminals is infested. Surveys for aphids should be conducted early in flushing cycles when most terminals are still in the feather stage. Systemic materials, such as Temik or Admire, applied to the soil will give good control with minimal impact on beneficial […]
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