Citrus Pest Management & Resources
There is a wide range of pests and diseases that can damage citrus and threaten tree and crop health if not managed appropriately. Since the early 1900s, California citrus growers have used an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to control pests in the grove. IPM incorporates the use of beneficial insects, pesticides, and other management tools to effectively control pests in the most environmentally conscious way possible.
The University of California is a leading source of information about pests and diseases affecting California citrus and Integrated Pest Management. Visit the UC IPM website to learn more.
Below are resources and information for growers to help them manage and mitigate the most common pests and diseases that impact citrus.
Exotic Fruit Flies
There are currently multiple active quarantines for exotic fruit flies throughout California. Fruit flies have many hosts, including citrus, making them a major threat to California agriculture.
Linked below is the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for industry members affected by quarantines and additional resources regarding exotic fruit flies.
- Harvest and Crop Movement Requirements – Updated Jan. 11, 2024
- CDFA Exotic Fruit Fly Industry FAQ
- Citrus Insider: Guide to Fruit Fly Quarantines
- USAD APHIS Fruit Fly Information
- Fruit Fly Quarantine Maps
- CDFA Invasive Fruit Fly Projects
Please note that CCM has recently updated the Geographic Information System (GIS) Map to include layers for fruit fly quarantines in California. The map is updated as new information on quarantines is made available from CDFA. This map is an interactive tool that we hope you will use to understand how quarantines may affect your citrus operations. View the map here.
Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine (Bactrocera Dorsalis)
There are currently numerous Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF) quarantines throughout the state of California, effecting over 200 commodities, including citrus. Please review the GIS map on our website to see if your grove is impacted by the quarantine.
When an OFF is found, a .5-mile core is created around that find, followed by an approximate 4.5-mile radius quarantine around that area. If you’re within the immediate core, there are limited options available. Please review the options for growers within the core here.
UPDATED INFORMATION AS OF 2/16/24: The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is temporarily modifying conditions for the movement of fresh citrus fruit from the non-core areas of the Oriental fruit fly (OFF) quarantine in San Bernardino and Riverside counties for the duration of the 2024 harvest season. Learn about new updates here.
However, if you’re in the 4.5-mile quarantine, there are mitigation practices available for your citrus operation including a strategic abatement mitigation.
The quarantine is in effect for 3 life cycles after the last Oriental Fruit Fly is found. The average life cycle for one adult fruit fly is about 90 days but can vary due to the temperature. CCM will continuing to monitor all fruit fly quarantines, movement and the impact on the citrus industry.
The areas affected by this fruit fly are currently Santa Clara, Sacramento, Contra Costa, Riverside, and San Bernardino, For more information, please review CDFA’s OFF page.
- San Bernardino County Agriculture / Weights & Measures
- Riverside County Ag Commissioner’s Office – OFF Quarantine Info
Queensland Fruit Fly Quarantine (Bactrocera Tryoni)
There is currently one quarantine for Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) in California, effecting the Thousand Oaks community in Ventura County. This pest effects numerous types of fruits and vegetables, including citrus. The proposed treatment area is about 1.5-mile radius, and quarantine zone is an approximate 4.5 mile radius around the detection site of the flies.
The quarantine is in effect for 3 life cycles after the last Queensland Fruit Fly is detected. CDFA is working to use a male attractant technique to eradicate adult QFF’s. The average life cycle for one adult fruit fly is about 90 days but can vary due to the temperature. CCM will continue to monitor this fruit fly quarantine, movement, and the impact on the citrus industry.
For more information regarding the Queensland Fruit Fly, please visit the CDFA’s QFF page.
Grower Treatment Information for OFF and QFF:
- Regulatory Treatment Agreement
- Treatment Record
- Pesticides Rate Table
- Pre-Harvest Bait Treatment Protocols
- Malathion 8 Aquamul Special Local Need Label and Directions for Use
- Spinosad Supplemental Label
Other Fruit Fly Quarantines
You can find a list of all the invasive species that have caused a quarantine in California here. This has been a record year for invasive species in California. California Citrus Mutual will continue to monitor the situation in regard to our industry. This page will be updated as needed.
We highly encourage producers to work with your individual crop insurance agents for the most accurate information and to answer questions as they pertain to your individual circumstances.
Quarantine Endorsement (QE):
If you are near a zone impacted by fruit flies you may consider purchasing a quarantine endorsement. For the QE to apply, one of the definitions ((a) or (b)) below must be met by the quarantine order. Risk Management Agency (RMA) has previously provided that (b) does not apply if mitigation steps permit the movement of the crop. The definition of a quarantine under the “Quarantine Endorsement Pilot” (2011-QE) is:
An action taken by an appropriate authority to control a specific pest that: (a) requires the destruction of your insured crop or the plants on which your insured crop is growing and you are not allowed to harvest and sell the insured crop prior to destruction of the plants; or (b) does not permit the insured crop to be harvested, sold, transported, transferred, or otherwise restricts it from movement from the location where it was produced to the location of any buyer.
Asian citrus psyllid – Diaphorina citri
The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an invasive insect that can carry the lethal and incurable citrus plant disease Huanglongbing (HLB). Symptoms of HLB include yellowing of leaves and misshapen, discolored, and underdeveloped fruit.
The only defense against HLB is to control the Asian citrus psyllid. Citrus growers are highly encouraged to participate in localized area treatments to keep populations from spreading.
Regulations and quarantines are in place to restrict the movement of bulk citrus loads to prevent HLB from spreading. To find the most recent HLB quarantine zones and ACP areas, check out our map here.
If you’re in an HLB quarantine zone or in an ACP area, you may be required to apply additional mitigations to move your citrus. CDFA recently updated these requirements for bulk citrus. You can review CDFA’s overview of these requirements here.
Citrus mitigations are critical to prevent further spread of HLB/ACP. When dealing with ACP/HLB growers, packers and shippers must abide by following to remain compliant:
- Sign a compliance agreement with the ACP/HLB Program.
- Complete the applicable ACP-Free Declaration form or HLB Pest Risk Mitigation form and include an original form with each shipment, if required. These forms are to be submitted with the applicable origin and destination to the county agricultural commissioner’s (CAC) office at least 72 hours in advance of harvest.
- Ensure pallets and/or field bins are completely tarped or moved in a fully enclosed vehicle.
- Deliver bulk citrus fruit only to an approved packinghouse or processor. Please contact the CAC for a list of approved receivers.
- Maintain the ACP-Free Declaration form or HLB Pest Risk Mitigation form with the bulk citrus fruit and provide the form to the receiving packinghouse or processor upon delivery.
California Department of Food and Agriculture has multiple forms available for the citrus industry.
Visit CitrusInsider.Org or the California Department of Food and Agriculture website for more information about ACP and HLB, treatment recommendations, and applicable regulations.
- General ACP/HLB
- Information on state ACP/HLB program including maps, quarantine information, and email alerts signup
- CDFA HLB Quarantine Map
Fuller Rose Beetle – Naupactus (Asynonychus) godmani
Fuller rose beetle adult females emerge from the ground year round, but the heaviest emergence is from July to October. There are no males. Female beetles lay eggs under the calyx of citrus fruit and other cracks and crevices. The neonate larvae drop to the ground and feed on roots for 6-8 months, after which they pupate and then emerge as adults the following year.
California red scale – Aonidiella aurantii
California red scale starts its life cycle as a crawler that emerges from a female scale. The crawler finds a leaf, twig or fruit to settle down on and inserts its threadlike mouthpart. If female, the scale molts twice and matures through 2 nymphal instars into the virgin female stage that is receptive to mating with a male. If male, the scale molts from 1st to 2nd instar, then prepupa, pupa, and finally becomes a winged adult. The entire lifecycle takes six weeks to complete.
Bean thrips – Caliothrips fasciatus
Bean thrips lays its eggs and completes its lifecycle in weeds and other plants near citrus orchards. The adult bean thrips migrate into citrus orchards in October-November, when the weed hosts die or the field crops it infests are harvested. Bean thrips seek out well-protected areas to overwinter, such as the navel of oranges where they contaminate harvested fruit. Bean thrips is not considered a pest of citrus in California. However, other countries such as Australia that do not have this pest consider it a quarantine pest of significance, requiring a preclearance program and fumigation of infested loads. Bean thrips are found throughout California citrus.