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Citrus pests and diseases and their control

Citrus pests and diseases and their control

A large group of trees and shrubs whose fruits are widely consumed is that of citrus. One of the reasons why they are so consumed is their high content of vitamin C and citric acid, which is the reason for the typical flavor of their fruits. These species are also widely cultivated as fruit trees in orchards and gardens. However, they also face significant pests and diseases.

So that you can take good care of your loved ones, at EcologíaVerde, we have prepared this article to summarize the main citrus pests and diseases and their control.

Citrus Characteristics

Popularly known as citrus, the gender Citrus It includes large species of shrubs and perennial trees with a height of between 5 and 15 meters, which are found within the Rutaceae family. Citrus fruits are highly appreciated species for their fruits, which have high content of vitamin C and citric acid (which gives them their typical sour taste).

As for the origin of The citrusthese are native to tropical and subtropical Asia and include three species and a large number of hybrids, many of which are among the most commercialized species in the world, such as orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit or tangerine.

Citrus pests and diseases and their control - Characteristics of citrus

Citrus pests and their control

Between the main pests that affect citrus is it so:

the fruit fly

The fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is a species of Diptera native to Africa, which affects numerous trees and shrubs, among which there are several species of citrus. This fly lays its eggs on the fruits and causes them to rot prematurely, as its larvae consume them. It is possible to control this pest by some chemoattractant trapping methods, biological methods such as predators and parasites, or chemical methods.


It is a kind of cochineal and is also known as serpent or louse. It forms like a limpet that adheres to the branches, fruits or leaves of the plant. There are several species of this louse and they can be combated by pruning those affected areas, using chromic or soap traps or using two parasitoid wasps, Camperiella bifasciata Y Aphytis melinus.

citrus miner

It is a species of lepidoptera that affects, above all, small citrus trees, spreading easily among their leaves digging galleries. For its control there are biological methods such as the use of diatomaceous earth and chemical methods such as the use of potassium soap, Neem extract or the Bt insecticide.

african psylla

It is a small bug that causes damage to the leaves of different citrus fruits by feeding on their sap and generating deformations, making them take on a rough appearance. Its treatment becomes difficult because it affects the lower parts. The first thing is to eliminate the affected leaves and the application of different treatments.


Among these, the best known is a cochineal with a large whitish body and that has a kind of channels. Due to its rapid spread through the plant, this mealybug is capable of drying it out quickly. For its treatment, the first thing is to prune the affected parts. If we do not want to use pesticides, we can use diluted potassium soap or biological methods, which are very effective.

Here we talk more about the Treatment and home remedies to eliminate the cottony mealybug.

Citrus pests and diseases and their control - Citrus pests and their control

Citrus diseases and their control

The main diseases affecting citrus and are caused by microorganisms, fungi and other factors, as well as their control, prevention and treatment, are:


A fungal growth occurs around the trunk of the tree, forming a kind of rubber. This fungus can appear due to an excess of stagnant water around the trunk. There are treatments with fungicides to apply in the affected area. In this case, this other EcologíaVerde article on homemade, natural and ecological fungicides may be useful to you.


It is produced by the growth of a fungus, which develops due to sugary liquids. It can also be accompanied by other pests such as aphids or mealybugs. These infections are combated with milk or horsetail fungicides.

brown rot

Brown rot is caused by a group of fungi that damage the roots and produce gummosis and cankers on the trunk. In addition, they weaken the trees and cause their leaves to fall. Its ecological treatment is difficult, since a systemic fungicide that penetrates the roots is necessary.

iron chlorosis

The plant is unable to capture the iron it needs from the soil, so the leaves turn yellow with green nerves. It can be solved by providing fertilizers that reduce the pH of the soil, iron chelators or by replacing the substrates with one for acidophilic plants.

virus of sadness

Virus transmitted by aphids to bitter orange. This virus causes premature flowering, chlorosis and leaf drop. It is very dangerous and kills the plant in a matter of weeks. There is no cure.


Penicillium produces the so-called gray mold of fruits and can be treated by using copper sulphate.

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