Citrus Leaf Miner Management

Dale K. Pollet  |  11/5/2005 2:15:23 AM

Damage caused by the citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton)

As citrus trees produce new flush growth, citrus leafminers may become a severe problem. Normally, citrus leafminers would be a concern primarly in young trees, but older trees that lose significant amount of foliage must be protected from losing the much-needed new flush as well.

The best choice for controlling citrus leafminers on commercial orchards is Spintor 2SC at 6 to 8 fl. oz/acre. Agrimek 0.15EC also is a good alternative when applied at 5 to 10 fl. oz/acre. Apply Agrimek only if it was not used earlier for rust mite control to avoid insecticide resistance development in rust mites to this product. Another alternative for citrus leafminer control is Provado at 10-20 oz. per acre. All work best on citrus leafminer when combined with oils (about 5 gal. oil per acre). Seek the advice of your local specialist on the use of oils as we get closer to cooler months. Depending on the condition of your orchard, your citrus specialist may better describe any possible effects on cold hardiness or on next year’s bloom. Admire as a soil application may provide a longer term protection against citrus leafminers applied at 14 fl. oz/acre. You may use Admire at 1/16 oz per small tree and 1/8 oz per large tree in 10 oz of water applied to the soil. Admire is expensive, but it may be justified on younger orchards and producers can follow up with another Admire soil drench application next spring.

Homeowners who have a few citrus trees in the backyard may obtain excellent control of citrus leafminers by using spinosad formulated for citrus in home gardens. Homeowners may obtain spinosad at local garden centers under different commercial names such as Conserve, Naturalyte Insect Control, Green Light Spinosad, Success, Fertilome Borer, Bagworm, Leafminer & Tent Caterpillar Spray, etc. Citrus leafminer control is important on young, growing backyard citrus trees and mature trees if they have been severely defoliated by storm winds. Citrus leafminer control on backyard trees in turn will reduce sources of citrus leafminer infestations which later migrate to trees in nearby commercial orchards.

Maximum protection for citrus leafminer on both commercial and home garden trees is obtained if sprays are applied when the new foliage is only half emerged and the first affected leaves are just beginning to curl. Remember that protecting trees from additional foliage loss is important because trees use this new growth to accumulate needed carbohydrates to help expedite the recovery, growing and production process. Apply these citrus leafminer management plans in combination with a complete fertilization, disease and weed management program to revitalize your weaken, stressed trees and to protect healthy ones.

Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.

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