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UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center

Entomology and Nematology

Florida citrus hosts a wide array of arthropod pests including insects, mites, and nematodes. These pests can cause damage to citrus through their feeding on fruit, foliage, and roots. Feeding wounds can serve as an entry point for plant pathogens. Pests may also act as vectors of plant diseases such as the Asian citrus psyllid which spreads the citrus greening pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Florida citrus also has numerous beneficial species that help to maintain most potential pests below economically damaging levels.

Members of the Entomology and Nematology Department conduct research on many pests with the primary focus of integrated pest management (IPM) and insect/nematode ecology. Integrated pest management is a vital part of growing a healthy and productive citrus grove. Scouting is the first step in IPM. By monitoring the groves, scouting provides the opportunity to identify pests or a potential pest. Once a pest is identified and found to be at damaging levels, management decisions can be made to employ preventative controls, biological controls, and/or chemical management.

There are many resources to aid in the identification and management of insects such as Featured Creatures, UF Insect ID Lab, EDIS, and the Florida Citrus Production Guide

 Portrait of Dr. Lauren Diepenbrock
Dr. Lauren Diepenbrock
Assistant Professor
Area of focus: integrated pest
management, insect ecology

 Portrait of Dr. Larry Duncan
Dr. Larry Duncan
Area of focus: ecology and
management of nematodes

 Portrait of Dr. Lukasz Stelinski
Dr. Lukasz Stelinski
Area of focus: integrated
management strategies