Consumers, and consequently supermarkets, demand products free of pesticide residues and with much of the citrus produced by Endulini Fruit being exported to Europe, the European Union Directive 2009/128/EC, which aims to reduce the risks and impact of pesticides on human health and the environment, has led to the popular citrus producer using softer pesticides and introducing biological pest control.
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 fruit creasing or cracking is a complex pre-harvest physiological disorder that causes significant economic losses. Recent studies have indicated that citrus fruit creasing or cracking is caused not only by genetic factors but also by environmental factors.