Citrus greening- also known as Huanglongbing, or HLB- is an exotic disease that is currently prevalent throughout Florida’s citrus industry. This disease is carried by an invasive insect known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and infects citrus trees by being a vector-transmitted pathogen. Citrus greening was first discovered in Florida in 2005 and has since been found in every Florida county with commercial citrus production.
In Florida, using insecticides to control the ACP is a major component of greening management strategies. However, according to UF/IFAS entomologist, Dr. Lukasz Stelinski’s latest research, Asian citrus psyllids have become resistant to the only known effective insecticide management for HLB prevention.
What This Means
Resistance reduces the effectiveness of insecticides. It can be behavioral, biochemical, or mediated by more than one mechanism. Frequent use of insecticides to treat pest problems can cause changes in insect populations over time. Because of this, after an insect develops a resistance to an insecticide, it takes more of the insecticide to kill them.
We must work diligently in order to combat the ACP’s resistance to insecticides. Dr. Stelinski’s findings indicate rotating insecticides with five different modes of action, can reduce this resistance.
For More Information
For more information on citrus pests and diseases, please visit the UF/IFAS Citrus Agents’ website.
This blog post is written by Natural Resources Extension Program Intern, Ms. Paxton Evans, under supervision by Commercial Citrus Extension Agent, Mr. Chris Oswalt.