The most serious challenge facing the citrus industry today is the citrus greening disease (huanglongbing or HLB). Every citrus producer has either experienced this disease or is wary of the devastating impact it can have on a citrus grove. Prior to its detection in North America, HLB was responsible for the destruction of several industries
in Asia and Africa. 1
HLB is devastating because when it infests a citrus plant the best solution to prevent further spread is to remove the citrus plant since there are no known curative measures for control of the disease. Removal of infected citrus plants removes inoculum that could be spread by the only known vector of the disease, the Asian citrus psyllid.
HLB was first detected in Florida in 2005 whereas the Asian citrus psyllid had been in the state since 1998. Initially, the Asian citrus psyllid was a pest of little concern until HLB was detected in the United States. As the only known vector of HLB, the Asian citrus psyllid became a pest that needed to be monitored and controlled to prevent further spread and establishment of HLB.
The Asian citrus psyllid is a tiny mottled brown insect that is about the size of an aphid. Adults live one to two months, and each female can lay several hundred eggs during her lifespan. The Asian citrus psyllid attacks all varieties of citrus and very closely related ornamental plants.
As a vector for HLB, the Asian Citrus psyllid causes shoots of citrus plants to yellow, asymmetrically, resulting in the production of asymmetrically shaped fruit with aborted seeds and bitter juice. Consequently, the disease can kill a citrus plant within eight years, and there is no known cure for the disease.
Presently, control of the Asian citrus psyllid is the most important approach to managing HLB and limiting its spread. The other frequently used HLB management approach is detecting and removing infected trees. However, detection of infected trees is quite difficult since citrus trees can remain in an asymptomatic state for several years, thereby providing inoculum for further infestations.
Furthermore, HLB-infected citrus plants in areas surrounding a citrus grove may go undetected and would continue to provide the inoculum for future infections. Hence the importance of managing the Asian citrus psyllid within citrus groves and in surrounding areas, especially where citrus plants are grown.
To eliminate populations of the Asian citrus psyllids, insecticides are used aggressively in and around citrus groves. There are a number of insecticides that can effectively control the Asian citrus psyllid, but care has to be exercised to prevent problems such as the development of insecticide resistance, which has recently been detected. To slow down the occurrence of insecticide resistance, new approaches to Asian citrus psyllids are necessary. For example, using a surfactant that can supercharge your application of insecticide. For example, Brewer International’s Cide-Kick®
 Tiwari, S. et al. 2011. Insecticide Resistance in Field Populations of Asian Citrus Psyllid in Florida. Pest Manag. Sci. 67:1258-1268. https://swfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/hlb/database/pdf/00002862.pdf (Accessed Jun. 7, 2021).
What is Cide-Kick®
Cide-Kick® is a uniquely formulated nonionic wetting agent and penetrant made from citrus limonene. Benefits in using Cide-Kick® include:
- It activates pesticides to provide enhanced control.
- It improves the coverage and spread of pesticides on the target pests.
- It is compatible with a variety of pesticides.
- It can be safely used in citrus.
In addition to helping provide improved insect control, Cide-Kick® has been shown to have insecticidal properties that could enhance control of the Asian citrus psyllid.
Supercharge your insecticide application with Cide-Kick® so as to eliminate populations of Asian citrus psyllids and prevent the establishment and spread of HLB.
Please visit https://www.brewerint.com for more information.
 Liu, T., and P.A. Stansly. 2000. Insecticidal Activity of Surfactants and Oils Against Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia argentifolii) Nymphs (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on Collards and Tomato. https://swfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/docs/pdf/entomology/publications/ref_0037.pdf (Accessed Jun. 7, 2021).