What is explosive leprosy of citrus?

Citrus trees are trees that, in addition to being very decorative, produce edible fruit if they are given minimal care. But unfortunately they are also very vulnerable to pests and diseases, one of the most worrying being citrus blast leprosy .

What is it and how is it treated? Is there any way to prevent our plants from being affected by this problem? Let’s see it.


  • 1 What is explosive leprosy of citrus?
  • 2 How can we detect it?
  • 3 How is it treated?
  • 4 Can it be prevented?

What is explosive leprosy of citrus?

It is a viral disease transmitted by the leprosy mite (Brevipalpus) endemic to the Americas , especially the south. At the moment it has not arrived in Spain, but we must be vigilant and buy only healthy specimens. Even so, we can never be sure that the specimen we take home is fine, as there have been cases in which a plantation has started to get sick after planting an infested specimen that was asymptomatic.

The way the virus spreads is through mites or through infested seedlings or fruits.

How can we detect it?

To know if a citrus is sick with leprosy, we have to observe these symptoms:

  • Defoliation
  • fruit drop
  • Circular spots on leaves and fruit
  • no growth

Citrus leprosis

Image – IDTools.org

How is it treated?

Citrus explosive leprosy is treated only with chemicals. You can use any of these :

  • Dicofol (18.5%) at 1.5-2%
  • Dicofol (21%) + Tetradifon (7.5%) at 2‰
  • 0.25% mineral oils are used as adherents.

Can it be prevented?

As we have mentioned, it is really difficult to prevent it, since the tree can remain asymptomatic for a long time. That is why the only way to be sure is to choose specimens that we know for a fact are healthy , and for that there is nothing like taking a sample of the plant’s sap and taking it to the laboratory for examination.

I hope it has been useful to you.

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