Growing pests in the citrus production

29 Mayo 2019 | Blog
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The citrus is one of the most important crops of the Spanish field. Not in vain, Spain is the sixth grower of this sort of fruit and the first exporter of fresh one. Despite this power, the farmers know they are very exposed to the action of pests and pathogen agents of any kind. In fact, with a global market, the emerging pests in the citrus production have become a real problem.

Every little time we come across new enemies of the orange, lemon, tangerine and grapefruit trees. Be that insects, fungi or other kind of attackers, the trees suffer and the fruits can become useless for the sale. For this reason, the citrus growers must keep up their guard and maintain a severe and effective control of pests.

Main emerging pests in the citrus production

Lately new enemies have appeared which try to profit from the citrus crops and which harass the agricultural technicians. For example, we are referring to:

  • "Cotonet de les valls". Delottococcus aberiae is a cochineal of the Pseudococcidae family scattered throughout Spanish citrus crops in the late years. It weakens the trees suctioning the sap and it produces deformation of the fruits (above all in naver and blood oranges) and reduction of their size, specially in tangerines. The control of this pest can be carried out through products based on chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl.
  • African citrus psyllid. It is another insect, scientifically named Trioza erytreae, which is also present in the Spanish crops. It is dangerous since it is the vector through which the dangerous bacterium Huanglongbing ou HLB enters the citrus crops. It is important to remark that, even though the insect has arrived in Spain, the HLB illness has not yet. Notwithstanding, we must be really vigilant to prevent african psyllid from proliferating.
  • Asian citrus psyllid. Directly related to the African psyllid, the Asian citrus psyllid or Diaphorina citri has not been detected in Spain yet, but its expansion throughout the world is being extremely fast. As the African one, this species is also able to introduce the HLB into the citrus crops.
  • Huanglongbing (HLB). This illness, also known as greening of the citrus, comes from China and is produced by Candidatus gender bacteria, which consist of three species. They use insects, like the psyllids, to infect the citrus crops and produce devastating effects such as deformations and premature fall of fruits, regressive death of branches and severe defoliation. For the time being, this illness hasn't' reached Spanish crops, but it is considered that if it did, it would finish with Spanish citrus crops in less than 20 years. It is fundamental to control the insects' population which carry this bacterium. 
  • Black Spot. This illness, caused by the fungus Guignardia citricarpa, has not arrived in Europe yet but it causes ravages in the other continents. It is manifested in black and deep spots that affect leaves and fruits, specially in the lemon trees.
  • The thrips of the orchids. Pezothrips kellyanus is an insect which was detected in Spain in 1996 and has spread all over this country, affecting vast citrus areas. It attacks navel orange and lemon trees and produces cleavages around the peduncle of the fruits and silver or discoloured areas over the fruit in growing process. These pests, apart from others, acquire more and more importance and threaten the Spanish citrus production. To defend themselves, the farmers have to possess a good education and be always available to collaborate with the health and agricultural authorities.

Besides, they must carry out accurate phytosanitary treatments, using suitable machines, such as dusters, mistblowers or pneumatic sprayers that are commercialized in Teyme. With this sort of machinery it will be easier to stop these fearful pests.


Contact us! And do not hesitate to get any advice about which equipment would fit better your crops.  

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