Asian citrus psylla, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Homoptera: Psyllidae) was detected for the first time in the United States near Delray Beach, FL, on 2 June 1998 and is continuing to spread and multiply throughout southern Florida. This psyllid is the vector of Liberobacter asiaticum, a phloem-limited bacterium that causes citrus greening disease. This pathogen has not been found in the Western Hemisphere to date. Furthermore, high infestation levels of D. citri can impact citrus plant health, fruit quality, or yield. Replicated laboratory and spray booth bioassays were conducted to determine the insecticidal activity of a synthetic analog of natural sugar esters found in leaf trichomes of wild tobacco, Nicotiana gossei Domin, to nymphal and adult D. citri. Field trials were initiated in Fort Pierce, FL, in 2000 to determine activity of the sugar ester formulation (sucrose octanoate) on D. citri and other citrus pests, including immature Asian citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton and mites. Sucrose octanoate rates tested ranged from 400 to 8,000 ppm (0.1–2% formulated product). Our data suggest that both nymphal and adult D. citri as well as the mite complex tested would be equally controlled to levels of >90% at the higher concentrations of sucrose octanoate and that good coverage is key to efficacy.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3