The citrus leaf miner (CLM), Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton, a gracillariid moth, has established and spread rapidly throughout the citrus-growing areas of Florida. Ultimately, a variety of pest management tactics will have to be employed to manage the CLM, including cultural, chemical and biological controls. Relying solely on chemical control is expensive and unlikely to be feasible for very long because this pest can develop resistance to pesticides. Biological control by parasites already present in Florida may provide some control (J. Pena, UF-IFAS, Homestead and P. Stansly, UF-IFAS, Immokalee, personal communications). However, it seems unlikely that the generalist parasites already present in Florida will provide adequate control of the CLM.
Citrus growers face issues from an increasing number of pests and diseases. Rapid and accurate tools for early pest and disease detection are needed to improve precision and timely management.
Almost all agrochemicals (e.g., pesticides) applied in specialty crop production are made uniformly with conventional spraying equipment, despite the fact that pathogen distribution is typically patchy. Uniform applications result in the use of agrochemicals where no diseases, weeds or pests occur. This unnecessary use of agrochemicals leads to increased costs, risk of crop damage, environmental pollution and contamination of the edible products.