What is in this article?:
- Freeze damage, drought line up against California citrus
- Asian citrus psyllid
- Don't leave 'shiners'
- Mites and thrips could be particularly problematic this year for citrus growers
- Asian citrus psyllid continues to be found in San Joaquin Valley
Stressed trees have more scale problems
University of California citrus pest expert Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell expects some citrus fruit pests to be particularly troublesome this year because of a combination of drought conditions and the after-effects of the December freeze in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Don't leave 'shiners'
Grafton-Cardwell stresses the importance of removing shiners – last year’s fruit – from the trees because they can harbor scale for next year’s fruit.
“Sometimes pickers leave them on the trees because they aren’t marketable,” Grafton-Cardwell said. “If you leave them on the tree they act as scale insectaries and provide lots of scales for the next year’s fruit. It’s best to get all the fruit off of the tree whether it is marketable or not.”
The Citrus Leafminer could be a significant issue in the fall, but not this spring, Grafton-Cardwell said. There was some good leafminer kill during the freeze as it tends to favor the new flush.
The Fuller Rose Beetle is one of the toughest insects on Earth, she said, and could likewise be an issue as chemicals and drought fail to control the insect.
Forktailed Bush Katydids could also be a problem as their eggs are “incredibly tough,” she said.
Grafton-Cardwell was asked about cutworms and leaf rollers because of issues seen in the Terra Bella area of Tulare County, Calif. She said researchers for years have not seen much of an issue in these pests because they’ve had good biological controls in the past.
Now with the advent of certain classes of Ag chemicals that have broad-spectrum control and can be used as a preventative measure against certain pests, Grafton-Cardwell has seen the natural enemies of secondary pests wiped out.