Tamarixia radiata Waterston (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a biological control agent of the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is being used as a tool to help reduce psyllids in urban environments in citrus-growing areas of Texas. The USDA APHIS PPQ S&T CPHST Mission Laboratory developed methods to produce large numbers of the beneficial insects for biological control of Asian citrus psyllids. Releases were made in citrus trees where plant tissue that tested positive for Huanglongbing or citrus greening disease was detected. Before release of T. radiata in 2010, 43 immature psyllids per flush were found in citrus in residential areas. After biological control releases, the abundance of pysllids gradually decreased. In 2016, only 3.8 immature psyllids were found per flush, a reduction of 91.2% of the psyllid population.
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Vol. 42 • No. 1