The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is a major pest of citrus worldwide due to its ability to transmit the bacteria associated with huanglongbing. Vision, behavior, and performance of insect pests can be manipulated by using ultraviolet (UV)-blocking materials. Thus, the aim of our study was to evaluate how UV-blocking plastic films may affect the take-off and host plant finding ability of D. citri. To assess the effect of a UV-deficient environment on take-off, adult psyllids were released from a vial inside a screenhouse covered by a UV-blocking or standard (control) film and the number of insects remaining on each vial under each treatment was counted at different time intervals. Moreover, to assess the ability of D. citri to find citrus plants under a UV-deficient environment, two independent no-choice host plant finding assays with different plant arrangements were conducted. In each treatment, the number of psyllids per plant at different time intervals was counted. Both D. citri take-off and host plant finding ability was clearly disrupted under a UV-deficient environment. The number of psyllids remaining in the vials was significantly higher under UV-blocking than standard film in all periods recorded. Furthermore, psyllids were present in significantly higher number on citrus plants under standard film than under UV-blocking film in all of the periods assessed and experiments conducted. Our results showed that UV-blocking materials could become a valuable strategy for integrated management of D. citri and huanglongbing in citrus grown in enclosed environments.
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