Citrus pests: types, symptoms and treatment

Citrus must be fertilized with the best fertilizer

The plants known as citrus are those that have characteristics that are very easy to remember, namely: the flowers are small, white and give off a very pleasant sweet aroma known as orange blossom; and some fruits that are actually fruits as they are for food use with a rounded shape, and with an often edible pulp with an acid flavor that, on certain occasions, is divided into segments, as is the case of mandarin oranges, for example.

They are so important worldwide that whenever the climate allows it, they are grown in orchards, gardens and even on terraces, where everything possible is done to achieve large harvests. But, to achieve this, It is important to know how to identify citrus pests and what to do to eliminate them.


The spider mite is one of the most common pests on citrusThe red spider mite is one of the most common citrus pests.

Image – Wikimedia / Gilles San Martin

The Mites, like the spider mite, they are tiny insects, so small that they are about 0,5 centimeters or so. They they adhere especially to the underside of the leavesnext to the nerves of these. Thus, they can feed on the sap without being disturbed.

But what symptoms do they cause? These: cobwebs, premature leaf drop, colorless spots, general plant weakening. Fortunately, they can be treated very easily with acaricides (such as this), or with soap and water.

Leaf miner

The leaf miner is a pest that affects citrusThe miner is a pest that affects citrus

Image – Flickr / Scott Nelson

The leaf miners they are diptera larvae, like those of the genus Liriomyza. These excavate galleries in the leaves, so more or less transparent lines or spots can be seen from the beam, and the plague from the bottom.

They cause damage that is not very serious at first; that is, it is easy to identify the galleries because they are lines. But once they are detected, the plants have to be treated with anti-miner insecticides (for sale here!).

White fly

Whitefly affects citrusWhitefly affects citrus

Image – Wikimedia / Amada44

La White fly It is another plague that we will see on the leaves of the Citrus, specifically on the underside. They are very small sap-sucking insects. They multiply fast, so What at first were small yellowish spots of little importance, in the end leads to defoliation; that is, to the early fall of the leaves.

Therefore, citrus fruits must be treated at the slightest symptoms, with an insecticide that eliminates the whitefly, either chemical (such as No products found.), or ecological such as black soap (for sale here!).


The fruit fly affects citrus

The fruit fly affects citrus

La fruit fly It is a small dipteran that has a predilection for ripe fruits and those that begin to ferment. What they do is leave their eggs inside the fruit, so they immediately hatch and, of course, are no longer suitable for human consumption. Also, they quickly rot.

One way to eliminate them, or at least to have them more controlled, is by attracting them to fruits that are in the process of decomposition, that is, that are soft, and / or that begin to smell bad. Another option is to treat the plant with traps (for sale here!).

California red louse

California red louse affects citrusCalifornia red scale affects citrus

Image – Wikimedia Commons / VictorCegarra

El California red louse It is a type of limpet-like mealybug that feeds on the sap of the leaves, particularly the underside, stems and can sometimes even be seen on the fruits themselves. This plague It also feeds on the sap, and when you remove it they leave a white stain right where they were.

Like all mealybugs, they kill very well and quickly with diatomaceous earth (for sale here!). You just have to wet the plant – in the afternoon, when the sun no longer shines on it – and pour the product over it. Another option is to use an anti-mealybug insecticide (on sale here!).

African citrus psila

African psylla is a pest similar to aphidsThe African psylla is a pest similar to aphids.

Image – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The African psylla, or Tryoza erythreaeis an insect similar to aphids that measures about 2 millimeters. It has transparent wings, and is green first and dark brown later. The eggs are yellow or orange and are laid on the young leaves, where they hatch. Once they do, They feed on these leaves, bulging them and making them look twisted.

In addition, it is important to know that they can transmit a bacterial disease called greening, which if not treated in time ends up being fatal. Therefore, it is important to treat with specific insecticides (for sale here!), following the manufacturer’s instructions.


The aphid attacks citrus

The aphid attacks citrus

The aphids or aphids are insects that measure approximately 0,50 centimeters, that have a rounded body of yellow, green, or brown color, and elongated legs. They are mostly deposited on young shoots, but are also seen on flower buds. In any case, the damages are: abortion of the flowers, general weakness, and deformation of the leaves.

The treatment consists of spraying with water and neutral soap, but if the tree is large the ideal is to place an anti-aphid trap (for sale here!).


Thrips are a common pest on citrusThrips are a common citrus pest.

Image – Flickr / Brenda Dobbs

And finally we have the trips. These are like earwigs but in a miniature version, black, and with a length of about 0,5 centimeters that are deposited on the underside of the leaves. There We will also see their excrement, which is whitish in color, and also the spots they leave behind.

To eliminate them, it is possible to place anti-thrips traps on the branches of the tree; this way they will be controlled. But if it is a young and small citrus, it is preferable to treat it with potassium soap (on sale here!), neem oil (for sale here!) or diatomaceous earth.

I hope that now it is easier for you to identify the pests of the citrus fruits that you grow.

Citrus pests: types, symptoms and treatment

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