Beneficial Insects Available to Homeowners to Fight Citrus Greening
Beneficial Insects Now Available to Palm Beach County Homeowners from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Citrus greening is a bacterial disease of citrus. Citrus greening disease can affect all citrus cultivars and causes tree decline. The disease is spread by a small leaf-feeding insect, the Asian Citrus Psyllid discovered by the Florida Division of Plant Industry personnel in 1998. Citrus greening disease has spread to all citrus producing counties in Florida. The characteristics of the disease are mottled leaves and small, misshapen fruit. If fruit remains on the tree until harvest, the fruit is undersized and may contain bitter juice. In commercial citrus groves, greening is managed in an integrated way to control the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Homeowners rarely manage their backyard citrus insect infestations, which can harbor large populations of Asian Citrus Psyllids.
Biological control using beneficial parasitoids is an environmentally sound and effective means of reducing pest insects. For those interested in biological control, the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry can assist by providing beneficial parasitoids for release on your property. Beneficial parasitoids -Tamarixia radiata attacks and kills Asian Citrus Psyllids, and has no negative impact on any organism other than psyllids. For homeowners, releasing these parasitoids on your property can benefit your citrus trees and those of your neighbors. To obtain Tamarixia radiata beneficial parasitoids for release – application available online at: