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October / November 2023

Extension briefs for October and November 2023

SA Fruit Journal: October / November 2023

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

Integrated pest management

(T.G. Grout and S.D. Moore)

Thrips management

During October and November, citrus fruit is highly susceptible to damage from citrus thrips. Therefore, orchards should be scouted at least once a week for this pest, being sure to look under the sepals. Citrus thrips larvae cause more serious damage than adult thrips, so low numbers of adults in the absence of larvae may not require immediate intervention. The intervention threshold for citrus thrips larvae on fruit is 2% for the first four weeks after petal fall, 3% for five to six weeks after petal fall, then 4% for seven to eight weeks after petal fall.

These thresholds can be roughly doubled if the population comprises mostly adults. Citrus thrips are genetically predisposed towards developing resistance to pesticides, so avoid spraying two consecutive sprays of the same active ingredient. Treatments that give six to eight weeks’ thrips control will eliminate natural enemies of false codling moth (FCM), mealybug, and scale insects for a month or more. So, if this degree of control is required, it is best to spray these at petal fall and to follow up with softer options when necessary.

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