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Managing scale insects and aphids in Integrated Pest Management Programmes for citrus fruits

Maria Teresa Martínez Ferrer

IRTA. Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology. Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and the Environment. Government of Catalonia

Scale insects and aphids belong to the order Hemiptera and the sub-order Sternorrhyncha. Their mouthparts and feeding practices are very similar. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts, with stylet mandibles and maxillae which are protected by the elongated labium, forming the beak or rostrum. They insert the beak into the plant and inject saliva into it to feed on the phloem.

Scale insects and aphids belong to the order Hemiptera and the sub-order Sternorrhyncha. Their mouthparts and feeding practices are very similar. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts, with stylet mandibles and maxillae which are protected by the elongated labium, forming the beak or rostrum. They insert the beak into the plant and inject saliva into it to feed on the phloem. The phloem is rich in sugary substances but poor in amino acids so the insect filters it and excretes the remaining liquid in the form of a sugary substance known as honeydew. Both groups of pests are characterised by their ability to excrete large quantities of honeydew.

These pests damage citrus fruits directly and indirectly. Sap extraction and saliva injection may weaken the plant, deform the flowers and shoots, and cause premature falling of flowers and small fruits. The excreted honeydew together with the ensuing formation of sooty mould attracts ants; affects respiration and photosynthesis; interferes with biological control; hampers farm work, and reduces the value of the fruit. Aphids also cause significant damage because they are vectors of major diseases such as tristeza.

Integrated management differs according to the pest group:

  • Aphids feed on young shoots. Their strategy is to reproduce and feed quickly to gain the maximum benefit from these temporarily available resources. They produce several generations each year, which means that aphid management must be primarily based on the phenology of the plant.
  • Scale insects are found on citrus fruits throughout the year and produce one to three generations annually. Therefore, they must be managed according to their biological cycle.
The integrated management of both pests is closely associated with the management of other citrus fruit pests.

This presentation will describe the integrated management of these two groups of citrus fruit pests with reference to:
  • Sampling methods
  • Economic thresholds
  • Control methods (biological, cultural, chemical)
  • Precise time of intervention

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Data protection policy

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.