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Citrus
February / March 2022

Extension briefs for February and March 2022

SA Fruit Journal: February / March 2022

By Hannes Bester, MC Pretorius, Wayne Mommsen and Catherine Savage, André Combrink, Coenraad Fraenkel, Jan Landman and Natasha Jackson (Citrus Research International)

Integrated pest management

Mealybug (S.D. Moore)

Growers should be scouting for mealybug regularly by inspecting underneath calyces and thereby determining the percentage of infested fruit. Where mealybug is under good biocontrol, infestation should peak during December in the northern production areas, and during January in the Cape production areas. If mealybug infestation does not decline during January and February, respectively, suppression with a chemical treatment is advisable on early maturing cultivars.

Unfortunately, buprofezin (Applaud), which was the most effective corrective option for mealybug control, may no longer be used at this time. Therefore, the available corrective options are sulfoxaflor (Closer), spirotetramat (Tivoli) and fenpyroximate (Lesson). These products may not have a specific corrective registration, but their withholding periods do permit late season use.

The first two mentioned are particularly effective. Although registered, methomyl is not a preferred option, as it is not effective at the dose generally registered for mealybug. And methomyl is the only registered corrective option for red scale. It would therefore be wise to restrict corrective usage to red scale alone, in order not to expedite the onset of resistance. Ensure that the preharvest interval of any product used is complied with.

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