Key Lime Tree Pests

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Wicked4, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Wicked4

    Wicked4 Member

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    Something is crawling on my key lime leaves, leaving tracks. It is apparently causing the leaves to cup & curl -- each has a "track" mark. I've picked off a few strange looking caterpillars, both large & small, but can't always find them. Also, a huge grasshopper looking insect is eating the leaves -- have pulled him off also when found, but he returns. This large critter also flies. How can I rid the tree of these pests? Thank you.
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    This document may be of help to you in identifying the pests. The first one you described sounds like citrus leaf miner.
     
  3. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I agree with Junglekeeper-- the first pest is probably Citrus Leaf Miner -- here is another website with info in CLM:

    http://ag.arizona.edu/crops/citrus/insects/leafminer.pdf#search="citrus leaf miner predator"

    The caterpillars are probably giant swallowtail butterfly larvae-- they look like bird poop.

    As for the grasshopper--Squish!

    -- Skeet--

    PS -- I see you are here in P'cola-- I just released some of the predators of CLM-Ageniaspis citricola -- hopefully they will establish and reduce them to a tolerable level. They have been terrible on my trees this summer.

    Skeet
     
  4. Wicked4

    Wicked4 Member

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    Thank you both for your help. While the leaves look similar to what is shown in one of the photos in the link -- the "worm" looks nothing like the photo. This guy -- the big one is about 2 inches long, brown, and difficult to spot. The babies are really tiny, and look like bird poop, so your description was correct. I've had this tree for 4 years, and it has produced fruit for the last 2 seasons. It's awesome, and it just breaks my heart to see this thing... Thanks again!
     
  5. Wicked4

    Wicked4 Member

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    Oh No, I've Been Killing Butterfly Larvae???? Now I Feel Really Bad....
     
  6. Laaz

    Laaz Active Member 10 Years

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  7. Wicked4

    Wicked4 Member

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    That's it!!!! BUT, I'M KILLING BUTTERFLIES??? How do you get rid of them?
     
  8. lemon_dreams

    lemon_dreams Active Member

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    Its the one butterfly thats good to kill. the leaf miner wont kill your tree but it sure makes it ugly. I had a minor infestation, but I brought my trees inside and all is ok... except for scale now, but I think I have it under control.
     
  9. Wicked4

    Wicked4 Member

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    Really? Yep, the leafminer is attacking all new growth, and the leaves are dropping. I've tried insecticidal soap applied directly to the affected leaf groups, and that seems to work, IF I can get it in time.
     
  10. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    The giant swallowtail lays individual egg on the new leaves-- they are about 1/16 in in diameter and usually orange in color. If you don't have many trees you can keep the eggs picked off pretty easily. There are several people I know in P'cola that grow citrus trees just for the butterflies-- let them raise the butterflies-- I want the fruit!

    The leaf miners are a more difficult problem to deal with. They are less than 1-2 mm in length -almost invisible to an untrained eye. Earlier in the year you can use oil sprays, but it will reduce your trees cold resistance if you use it now. Spinosad is a relatively non-toxic pesticide that you can use -- the stuff I have is by Fertilome for "bagworms and borers "

    -- Skeet
     

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