Pests affecting citrus fruit

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and mandarins, are prized for their flavour and nutritional value. However, they face numerous threats that can affect both their yield and fruit quality. In this article, we will explore two of the main and most common pests that, year after year, need to be dealt with in the spring and summer months, namely aphids and spider mites. We will also discuss possible effective strategies to prevent and treat them.

Aphids

These small sucking insects feed on citrus sap, weakening the trees and reducing their growth and production. The aphid is green in appearance when young and can grow to brown and measure 1.5mm in size, depending on the species. It usually appears on citrus trees in the spring months. Leaves become sticky and can stunt parts of the plant such as leaves and fruit. Aphid control generally involves the use of specific insecticides or the introduction of natural enemies such as ladybirds or others.

Mariquita comiendose a los pulgones

Mites

Mites, such as the citrus mite, better known in the field as "spider mite", also pose a threat to citrus by feeding on the leaves and causing direct damage to the plant. The leaves show yellow spots, which can be a warning sign that the orange tree is infected. The small spiders can be seen moving around on the back of the leaves with a magnifying glass. This pest is at its strongest in the summer months. Acaricides are effective in controlling their population and minimising the impact on the health of the trees.

Prevention and treatment strategies

To keep citrus fruit healthy and productive, it is essential to implement integrated pest and disease management practices:

  1. Adequate maintenance: : Providing adequate water and nutrients strengthens the trees' resistance to pests.
  2. Regular monitoring: Inspecting trees regularly allows early signs of problems to be detected and quick action to be taken.
  3. Biological control: Encouraging the presence of natural enemies such as insect predators can help to control pest populations in a sustainable way.
  4. Rational use of chemicals: Apply insecticides when necessary, following application recommendations and considering environmental impacts.

Citrus health depends heavily on proactive disease and pest management. With a holistic approach combining preventive and curative methods, growers can protect their crops and ensure a high quality harvest.

At Cocalni, we are committed to offering effective and sustainable solutions for citrus fruit care, thus guaranteeing success in agricultural production.

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