Agriculture: Citrus Pest Management Guidelines


This year-round IPM program covers major pests of citrus grown in California's Central Valley.

About Prebloom (January through March)

  • Special issues of concern related to environmental quality: Drift and runoff.

What should you be doing during this time?

Monitor for Asian citrus psyllid by conducting visual surveys of newly forming flush, and by using sweep net surveying or tap sampling. Manage according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines. In areas where Asian citrus psyllid is not known to have established (central and northern California), if Asian citrus psyllid is found, contact your local county agriculture commissioner’s office, and report it.

In areas of California where Asian citrus psyllid is established, participate in areawide treatment sprays. For maps of the distribution of Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing, see the UC ANR Asian Citrus Psyllid Distribution and Management website.

A CDFA liaison will provide research-backed information on Asian citrus psyllid management and coordinate treatments of commercial citrus.

Monitor California red scale males using pheromone-baited sticky traps (March through October), plus additional methods depending on the situation.

Look for spider mites and other mites.

Manage if needed according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines.

Look for aggregations of leaffooted bug and manage their populations if they are damaging harvestable citrus fruit.

Look for cottony cushion scale and predatory vedalia (March through July). Collect and relocate vedalia to cottony cushion scale-infested orchards if beetles have not arrived on their own by the end of March.

Look for brown garden snail. Collect and relocate predatory decollate snails if

  • they were not previously found in the orchard
  • brown garden snail has been a problem, and
  • decollate introductions are permitted in your county.

Manage if needed according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines. Avoid molluscide applications if relying on decollate snails for biological control.

Look for diseases that cause symptoms on fruit, leaves and twigs, and on limbs, trunks, and roots, especially:

Record the date and location of problem trees or sites. Manage if needed according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines.

Survey winter weeds.

Manage vegetation if needed according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines.

Look for vertebrates, especially ground squirrels, pocket gophers, rabbits, and roof rats. Manage if needed, according to the Citrus Pest Management Guidelines.

Provide proper cultural care and good growing conditions to improve tree health and fruit yield, including:

  • Fertilize if needed.
  • Inspect irrigation systems by late winter and irrigate if rainfall has been insufficient.
  • Provide frost protection (PDF) when cold threatens.
  • Prune if needed, but only after frost is no longer a threat.

Determine whether application of a plant growth regulator is warranted. Consider

  • 2,4-D to increase fruit size of navels, Valencias, and grapefruit.

Harvest mature fruit in coordination with other management activities to ensure good postharvest fruit quality and food safety (PDF).

  • Educate and supervise workers regarding fruit-handling Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Inspect fruit quality before bins are moved from the picking site to identify grove areas where management practices need improvement.
Text Updated: 07/23