Hard-won citrus IPM could fall to sharpshooter

The glassy-winged sharpshooter could send 20 years of hard-won integrated pest management progress in citrus down the drain.

That's a concern of Beth Grafton-Cardwell, the UC Riverside citrus entomologist based at the Kearney Agricultural Center near Parlier. Although glassy-winged sharpshooter does not harm citrus, growers may control the pest to slow its movement into nearby vineyards.

"We need to know whether any of the materials we use on citrus kill glassy-winged sharpshooter and, if they do, what would be the appropriate timing for treatment," Grafton-Cardwell said. "If a broad spectrum pesticide is used, we need to know whether it will disrupt the citrus IPM program."

Grafton-Cardwell is conducting a study in Kern County near Edison, where 90 percent of the citrus orchards have some glassy-winged sharpshooters. She found the pesticide Success has no effect on the pest. The selective systemic pesticide Admire brings populations down, but not as well as the broad-spectrum sprays. She will continue a monitoring program.

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