How to get rid of aphids on citrus trees?

Contents

Citrus Pests & Diseases

Citrus trees are relatively easy to grow and with the proper care, you can have Citrus trees with beautiful blossoms and luscious fruit that will last for decades. Caring for your citrus tree starts as soon as you remove them from your box.
Please remember that if your tree came planted in a pot, you should leave it in the pot for at least 2 weeks to minimize shock. Remove the tree from the plastic bag wrapped around the pot, water it and place it in a “partially” sunny location for at least a week, before you attempt to place the tree in the full sun.
After one week you can then place the tree in full sun (IF it is not in shock.)
Tree care is based on a 4 point system
1. SUNSHINE
It is essential that your tree gets 6-8 hours of sunshine daily. In the northern regions of the US, this can be a little more problematic, (in the winter months) in this case you can supplement with a plant grow bulb in addition to sunshine. It is critical that your tree is given the 6-8 hours of daily sunshine, this is a requirement for a healthy productive tree.
2. WATER
It is crucial that you use the deep watering method when watering citrus. The majority of plant demise is due to over watering, it is detrimental and should be avoided. A simple inexpensive moisture meter can prevent an overzealous gardener.
Moisture meters are around $10.00 and can give peace of mind to the questioning gardener on whether or not to water. Watering your trees for a few minutes every few days is NOT acceptable.
Deep Watering Method

3. FERTILIZER
It is crucial that you remember to fertilize your tree. Nitrogen deficiency is one of the leading causes of yellow leaves. Citrus trees are heavy nitrogen feeders. Without nitrogen, your tree CANNOT produce fruit. Fruiting trees remove nitrogen from the soil and convert it into fruit.
We recommend a 2/1/1/ OR 3/1/1 ratio fertilizer. The first number of any fertilizer is nitrogen and it should be double the other two numbers.
Citrus should be fertilized in Mid- February, through mid-September. If you live in the south and your tree is planted outside do not fertilize after mid-September because that encourages the tree to start new tender growth during the winter when there is a danger of frost.
Feeding Recipe For A Happy Tree

4. PREVENTION
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so true when it comes to preventing your tree from insect infestation.
It is imperative that you protect your investment, a little prevention goes a long way.
It is vital that you educated yourself on hazards that could cause undue stress or extreme danger to your citrus tree.
Pest Prevention

WINTER CARE AND LEAF DROP IN WINTER
After you take your tree inside in the fall before winter make sure to only water the tree with WARM WATER ONLY. Water can be frigid in the winter coming out of the tap, so be mindful of the water temperature before watering
The root area of the pot is just as important as the foliage of the tree, and if the root area gets too cold, the tree will begin to drop its leaves.
During the day it helps if the pot is elevated to the window, so the pot also receives warmth from the sunshine.
Also in the summer if you use a garden hose to water your tree DO NOT make the mistake of leaving water in the hose, the water left in a garden hose can get very hot in the summer, cooking in the sun. Make sure you always empty your hose and get fresh water in the hose, before you water the trees. Green leaf drop is a problem when trees are inside for the winter. Lighting is usually the issue when green leaves drop off an otherwise healthy tree.
Winter Recommendations For Indoor Citrus

TIPS ON CARING FOR YOUR INVESTMENT
It is vital for tree care to do a few preventative steps to ensure that your tree stays healthy.
You should be familiar with the graft area of your tree, and not allow growth below the graft area, as this will eventually take over and kill your tree.

GRAFT AREA
BRACKET SHOWS GRAFT AREA
The Red arrow is a sucker and needs to be pruned off. The lighter part of the branch V-shaped is the grafted area. Any growth below the graft needs to be removed. The whiter branch near the graft is fine, it is only the branch that sprouted BELOW the graft that is a concern.
ROOT CROWN AREA

ROOT CROWN
It is critical when transplanting the tree that the root crown is not buried under the soil, as this could cause the trunk to rot away from the rootball.
PESTS
CREATE A PEST BARRIER
Creating a barrier between your trees pot and foliage is essential.
First, take a wide piece of masking tape or tangle guard, long enough to wrap around the tree and support stick at least a few times.
Red arrow pointing to tape barrier
Tape the tree with wide tape guard or wide masking tape. It is essential to make sure that the tree is completely wrapped before you wrap the support stick.
Once the tree trunk and support stick are wrapped, you can add tanglefoot to the tape. If a tunnel is created between the tree and support stick that ants can crawl under, just pinch off any access points and use a toothpick to add tanglefoot to block gaps.
This barrier will catch ants and prevent them from gaining access to the foliage of the trees. Since your tree is a good food source of honeydew.
REMEMBER- Check tape when you water your tree, to make sure ants haven’t built a bridge across your barrier and do not push the tree against a wall or railing or other plants, as insects would just climb them to gain access to the foliage of the trees.
Taping the tree will also help prevent spider-mites and snails from gaining access to the tree. But it is essential to know spider-mites can get blown through the air on a windy day. Other preventives that you could consider using are essential oils, such as tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint or wintergreen one dropper mixed with water in a spray bottle. Do not spray theses directly on your tree, use these to spray the outside of the pot and surrounding area to deter pests. Neem oil can be sprayed on your tree and is an excellent deterrent against pests.
If your tree is infested with anything you must wash your tree with Dawn dish soap and warm water, scrubbing with a dishcloth. Make sure the top side and underside of leaves are entirely washed and scrubbed of sooty mold and cleansed of any sticky substance. You can use a toothbrush in hard to reach areas, such as a crevice at the Y part of a branch. Treat the tree once it is clean with a horticultural oil or neem oil.
It is IMPORTANT that all insects are removed, so take care to educate yourself on the insect infesting your tree. These will be listed further in this article.
Ants
Ants form symbiotic relationships with a variety of arthropods including scale insects, mealybugs, cottony cushion scales, whiteflies, and aphids. Ants are a lot like humans, they domesticate other insects like humans domesticate cattle. Ants will carry these insects up the tree and drop them onto foliage and branches. These insects use sharp mouthparts to pierce into plants extracting the sugary goodies. Then the ants will walk up and tap scale or an aphid with a foreleg or antennae and on cue, the scale or aphid will give up a droplet of honeydew. Ants drive off a host of potential predators of the scale and aphids and so for payment for this ants protect their flocks and for this protection, ants are rewarded with honeydew. Ants move their herds of bugs from “pasture to pasture” as each food source is used up. Ants are like a cattle rancher moving his herd from pasture to pasture. Protecting your tree from ants is essential.
If at any point you notice that your potted tree has become infested with a colony of ants, making themselves at home in the soil of the pot, then it is an emergency. You must kill the colony!
Use a small jar lid and pour in Mountain Dew, mix in 3 pinches of Borax Laundry Detergent. Set the lid with this mixture close to your pot, about 2-3 feet away from your potted tree. If you mix too much of the borax, it will kill the ants immediately, and they will not have a chance to take it back to the colony, killing all the ants in the colony. So be sure you don’t mix it too strong. If you notice a lot of dead ants near your mixture, then the mixture is too strong.

Ant getting drop of honeydew from scale

SCALE
Looks like blisters all over the branch. Included in the photo,a very faint web (spider-mite) that is attached from thorn to branch
When the scale is attached to the tree, it often appears as crusty or oatmeal-like or waxy bumps on the tree, often it is mistaken for parts of the tree’s own growth. The picture clearly shows bumpy beige like waxy growth. These are insects that suck sap from plants and produce a sticky substance called honeydew. Honeydew if left on the tree will then turn to black sooty mold.

Branch with scale, and honeydew dripping off leaves and branches

MEALYBUGS


COTTONY CUSHION SCALE


HONEYDEW
Leaves saturated with honeydew, dripping from a leaf, this will cause fruit flies to be attracted to your tree and can be a warning sign that the tree is in distress.
Also, spider mites and a web to the right of the main leaf.

SOOTY MOLD

SOOTY MOLD
As scale suck fluid, they create an environment ripe for the fungal disease called black sooty mold. Honeydew, if not removed will turn to black sooty mold and will become prevalent on leaves, twigs, and branches.
As the branches, twigs, and leaves turn black, the mold will reduce the trees’ ability to conduct photosynthesis.
All that applies to the scale also applies to many other insects and how they affect your Citrus tree such as Aphids, Spider mites, Mealybugs, Citrus Thrips.

Aphids crawling on a branch
Aphids on the under-side of a leaf, with larvae and eggs

APHID

SPIDER MITE

SPIDER MITES
Infestation of mites will usually infest the tree or plant in large numbers, and they damage leaves and plants. They suck the nutrients of the plants and leave them to die.
Webs on your citrus will indicate a spider-mite infestation.

FUNGUS GNAT
Majority of Citrus Tree death is over-watering. It is imperative that you DO NOT OVER-WATER your tree. Over-watering can create a perfect environment for Fungus Gnats that eat at the root system of the tree and will eventually kill your Citrus tree. A moisture meter will prevent this from happening.

LEAF MINER
Although leaf miner is unsightly, it’s typically not too damaging to Citrus Trees. Leaf miner is identified by squiggly lines in the leaves.
Treatment: spinosad to treat the adult insects

CITRUS THRIPS
Damage caused by Citrus Thrips.
Small orange-yellow insects whose feeding activities scar and damage the surface of the fruit.
The insects feed on the fruit buds and puncture the epidermal cells, leaving scabby, grayish or silvery scars on the rind.

SNAILS
Snails will eat citrus fruit so it is essential to keep a proper sanitation program around the citrus tree. Do not allow dead foliage to build up inside the pot as this could fill up pretty quickly with snails and slugs. It is essential to have a barrier between the soil and the foliage to prevent slugs from climbing up the tree and eating the foliage and fruit.

WHITEFLY
It is crucial that you inspect your tree at least once a month to ensure that you have no infestation. Egg clusters or whitefly larvae will be present on the undersides of infested leaves. Remove larvae or nymph-infested leaves from your citrus tree by hand and treat the tree with neem oil.

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY LARVAE (Orange-Dog)
The swallowtail butterfly will lay her eggs on leaves of citrus trees the larvae are the Orange dog caterpillars, which eat the leaves of citrus.
They usually are not harmful to the tree unless the tree is young.
DISEASES
FUNGUS AND MOLD

MELANOSE FUNGUS

MOLDY FRUIT
A fungicide can prevent many fungal infections.

GREASY-SPOT

CITRUS-SCAB
It is vital that you check your tree regularly to prevent fungus and treat the tree with Liquid Copper Fungicide.
One of the first signs that a citrus tree may be suffering from root rot is that the fruit has blemishes or decaying or yellowish-brown spots.
A fungus or root rot can cause citrus leaves to become moldy or have blackened veins or black lesions. Root rot causes a slow decline of the tree so it is imperative you have adequate soil drainage and avoid overwatering. As root rot advances, the bark cracks and dies leaving dark sunken cankers on the tree trunk. Prevent any problems before they start, use Copper fungicide which is effective if used regularly to prevent many of the common fungus problems known to citrus.
CITRUS DEFICIENCY
NITROGEN DEFICIENCY
Nitrogen deficiency will limit tree growth and fruit production and is expressed by light green to yellow foliage.
Overwatering your tree will cause yellow leaves if your Citrus has yellow leaves but you know you are not overwatering then your tree has a Nitrogen deficiency.

PHOSPHORUS DEFICIENCY
Phosphorus is essential for raising healthy citrus trees, but no matter the variety, they need only modest amounts of it. Growth is reduced when the supply of Phosphorus is too low and the symptoms appear first on older leaves. Symptoms: Small leaves that may take on a reddish-purple tint. Leaf tips can look burnt and older leaves become almost black. A research project has found phosphorus deficiency to be a contributor to citrus greening disease symptoms. By applying phosphorus, growers could potentially eliminate greening symptoms and improve fruit yield.

MANGANESE DEFICIENCY
Manganese deficiency symptoms are a light yellowing or whitening of green plant tissue because of a decreased amount of chlorophyll.
As the stress increases, the leaves take on a gray metallic sheen.

SULFUR DEFICIENCY
Veins and petioles show a very distinct reddish color. Similar to nitrogen deficiency with yellowing leaves but sulfur deficiency is much more uniform over the entire plant. Brown lesions often develop along the edges, and the leaves tend to become more erect and often twisted and brittle.

POTASSIUM DEFICIENCY
Potassium deficiency causes fruit to become smoother, with thinner rinds and causes smaller fruit to develop. Leaves become yellowish with edges bent downward.

IRON DEFICIENCY
Leaves appear as dark green veins, with yellowing between.

ZINC DEFICIENCY
Extensive yellowing develops between veins when zinc is deficient.
Please contact us at [email protected] or call if you need assistance
Lemon Citrus Tree
866-216-TREE (8733)

Of the over four thousand species of aphid known to exist, around 250 of those are considered harmful to crops. Also known as green flies or plant lice, aphids are among the most prominent and successful garden pests worldwide. These tiny insects pierce the stems of plants – preferring tender new growth to established greenery – in order to suck out the nutrient-rich sap, thus depriving the plant of the fuel that it needs to thrive. Aphids also frequently carry viruses which infect a host plant as the insect feeds. Such viruses are often lethal to crops like potatoes, citrus fruits, and grains. Furthermore, the honeydew secreted by aphids as they feed creates a favorable environment for sooty molds which spread quickly to coat the leaves of a plant, depriving it of sunlight.

While an aphid infestation may start out slow, aphids reproduce quickly and a colony of these pests can easily destroy entire crops if left untreated. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep aphids in check using all natural and organic means that won’t compromise the health of your garden or your family.

1. Physical Removal

For minor infestations of aphids, it may be possible to physically remove the insects from your plants. Don a pair of gardening gloves and brush or pinch the pests from stems and leaves. If the infestation is contained to one or two stalks or branches, prune off the affected portion(s) and drop them into a bucket of soapy water to kill the aphids.

2. Water Pressure

It is possible to spray aphids off of plants with the simple application of a garden hose. While this method may harm younger, more fragile host plants, it can be quite effective at controlling small aphid populations on more robust and well-established plants.

3. Soap and Water

The basic nature of mild household detergents makes them perfect for getting rid of mild to moderate aphid infestations. Dilute a few tablespoons of dish soap in a small bucket of lukewarm water and use a sponge or spray bottle to apply the mixture to plants where aphids have taken hold. Upon contact, the soap will dissolve the waxy protective coating from aphids’ bodies, dehydrating and eventually killing the insects without harming the plant. Remember to also treat the undersides of leaves where aphid eggs and larvae may be hiding!

***It is important to note that most forms of soap will also kill beneficial insects. Use caution when applying this treatment to your plants, as killing off populations of natural predator insects such as ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings will leave the door wide open for new colonies of aphids to move in.***

4. Neem Oil

Used in much the same way as dish soap, organic and pure Neem oil may be diluted in water and sprayed onto plants infested with aphids. The organic chemicals present in Neem oil act as a repellent against not only aphids, but also a wide array of other garden pests including mealy bugs, cabbage worms, beetles, leafminers, ants, and caterpillars. Neem oil is also effective in controlling the spread of many types of fungus that infect plants among a number of other things.

***While Neem oil won’t necessarily kill beneficial insects, it may repel them from your garden. For this reason, apply this and any other form of insecticide or repellant with care.***

5. Essential Oils

Create a cocktail of equal parts thyme, peppermint, clove, and rosemary oils (all available from here)- 4-5 drops of each should suffice. Mix this solution into a small spray bottle filled with water. Shake well and apply to infested plants. This potent mix of essential oils will kill most garden insect pests as well as their eggs and larvae. This combination also works great as a general purpose outdoor / indoor insect repellent!

Learn more about using essential oils in the garden in this great article.

6. Insecticidal Soap

There are many premixed all-natural insecticidal soaps treatments available for garden pest-control. Always remember to read and follow the instructions provided with these products to avoid inadvertently harming any beneficial species of insect that may be present in your garden.

7. Beneficial Insects

Green Lacewing – an important ally to help get rid of aphids.

In some cases, it may be easier to introduce new or bolster existing populations of predator insects into areas infested with aphids. The most well-known of these is the ladybird or ladybug beetle which may be purchased in bulk from most gardening and farming equipment suppliers, or even from Amazon. Also known for their appetite for aphids are hoverfly larvae and green lacewings. Lacewing eggs may also be purchased, however hoverflies will need to be drawn into your garden naturally. Do this by planting fragrant herbs such as garlic, catnip, and oregano whose flowers attract these tiny predators. You can also grow herbs like clover, mint, dill, fennel, and yarrow around your garden to naturally attract ladybugs and lacewings.

Further Reading: 10 Ways To Attract Beneficial Insects To Your Garden

8. Bug-eating Birds

Another method for natural aphid control is to encourage the nesting of birds such as wrens, chickadees, and titmice around your garden. The best way to attract these delightful aphid-devouring predators is to offer them free food and housing space. These birds prefer to nest in small trees and twiggy shrubs that provide good cover. Try planting hydrangeas, abelia, and other shrubs with dense foliage in which birds can hide from predators. Evergreen bushes and trees like boxwoods, arborvitae, and privet are also excellent choices for attracting birds that prey on aphids.

Small birdhouses specifically designed for these species are another great option.

Also, while it may seem counter-productive, put out a feeder designed for small birds and fill it with seeds that attract small birds. Black oil sunflower seeds, pre-hulled sunflower seeds, nuts and nut hearts are all good choices. Birds who come for the seeds will most likely stay to dine on your aphids!

9. Watch Out for Ants

The honeydew secreted by feeding aphids is also a favorite food for many species of ants. As such, ants will often protect colonies of aphids from predators much like people protect their livestock. Find a way to draw the ants away from their aphid-cattle such as by baiting them with small containers of honey placed near the base of the infested plant. With the ants out of the way birds and predator insects will have better access to the aphids. Here are some more effective ways to get rid of ants.

10. Natural Repellents

Aphids dislike the organic compounds which give onions and garlic their signature aroma. Grow these and other Alliums around your garden to discourage aphids from taking up residence there.

11. Natural Attractants

Conversely, you can select an area some distance away from the plants you wish to protect from aphids and plant some of these pests’ favorite foods there. Zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, and asters are all appropriate peace offerings which aphids will happily infest in lieu of your precious garden. Also, this will give the birds and predator insects a reason to stay in the vicinity (just in case the aphids decide to leave their designated area!)

12. Preserve the Balance

The solution to controlling aphid populations does not necessarily mean total annihilation of these pests from your garden. Consider this: If there are no aphids to dine on, predators that naturally consume these insects will certainly fly away seeking more abundant food sources. Instead of destroying every aphid in sight, make an effort to grow plants which are hardy enough to survive small populations of aphids. Don’t over-fertilize, over-shelter, or otherwise baby your plants. This will allow them to grow up big and strong, fully capable of healing the small amount of damage caused by a modest number of sap-sucking insects. Once you’ve achieved a balance between predators, prey, and host plants, you may never have to worry about over-population of aphids in your garden again.

Citrus pests

Heavy infestation of green coffee scale and associated sooty mould on grapefruit

Although sooty moulds do not infect plants, they can cause indirect damage by interfering with photosynthesis. This can stunt plant growth and coated leaves may also drop prematurely. Fruit covered with sooty mould are edible and the mould can be removed from the fruit with a solution of mild soap and warm water. A horticultural oil will control the insects.

Scales

Scales are unusual insects appearing to lack legs and eyes. Most species are usually only mobile when young and remain stationary on the plant as adult insects. Red scale (Aonidiella aurantii) is a major pest in Western Australian home gardens, infesting leaves, fruit, twigs and limbs. They are attacked by small parasitic wasps including Aphytis melinus and by ladybirds. Control bad infestations with horticultural oil which suffocates the insects.

Red scale on lemon fruit

Other scale pests sometimes seen on citrus trees in Western Australia include soft brown scale (Coccus hesperidum), black scale (Saissetia oleae), citricola scale (Coccus pseudomagnoliarum), white wax scale (Ceroplastes destructor), cottony cushion scale (Icerya purchase) and hard or Chinese wax scale (Ceroplastes sinensis).

A number of different preditors and parasite species have been released in commercial orchards over the years to help control different scale insects indcluding parasitic wasps. Some ladybird species are also predators of scale insects.

Aphids

Aphids are small, 1-3mm, pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects. They can be winged or wingless and are usually slow moving. The black citrus aphid (Toxoptera citricida) is an exotic species commonly found on Western Australian citrus.

Aphids are most abundant when there is new, flushing growth, usually in September/October and February to April. The aphids cluster on blossoms and young shoot growth, causing twisting and distortion. Aphids also excrete honeydew on which sooty mould can grow.

Aphids are attacked by a wide range of naturally occurring beneficial insects including small parasitic wasps, ladybirds, lacewings and hoverfly larvae. For chemical control, a spray containing garlic, chilli and pyrethrins is commercially available as a low toxicity pesticide.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are coated with a fluffy layer of wax. Two exotic species, citrus mealybug (Planococcus citri) and the long-tailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus), attack Western Australian citrus trees. Mealybugs are up to 3mm long and are found on naval ends and under calyxes of fruit, as well as between touching fruit and leaves. Long-tailed meaybugs have long white ‘hairs’ extending from the tail region, whereas citrus mealybugs do not.

Citrus mealybug.

Apart from parasitic wasps, the ‘mealybug destroyer’, a native ladybird species (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) and lacewing are natural control agents.

Use horticultural oil to control scale or horticultural soap or oil to control aphids and mealy bugs.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies resemble tiny, snowy white moths. The native whitefly, (Orchamoplatus citri), attacks backyard citrus in Western Australia. The adults, eggs, larvae and pupae are often found on the underside of leaves. Native citrus Whitefly is attacked by a range of naturally occurring predators including ladybirds, lacewing, hoverfly larvae and some beetles.

Citrus whitefly

Mites are less than 1mm in size and often tick or spider-like in appearance and adult have eight legs. Species such as two-spotted mite are just visible to the naked eye, while others including the brown citrus rust mite and citrus bud mite can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. In Western Australia, two-spotted mites and citrus bud mites are the most common citrus pests.

Ants

Honeydew producing insects are often actively transported, ‘farmed’ and defended by ants. Ants use the honeydew as a food source while the insects are protected from parasites and predators. Controlling the ant population will therefore also reduce these pests. To control ants, send a small sample on a small piece of sticky tape to the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS), for identification and advice on control methods.

Non-honeydew producing pests

Crusader bugs

Crusader bugs (Mictis profana) are up to 25mm long, with a pale yellow to orange cross on their backs and can spray a stinking fluid when disturbed. They are a native species and can occur year-round. On citrus trees, they feed by sucking on young shoots causing the shoot tip to wilt and die.

They are controlled naturally by assassin bugs (Pristhesancus plagipennis), lacewings, by small wasps which parasitise the eggs and by Cryptolaemus montrouzieri which is a native ladybird known as the ‘mealybug destroyer’.

Mites

Mites are less than 1mm in size and often tick or spider-like in appearance. Adults have eight legs. Species like the two-spotted mite are just visible to the naked eye, while other mites such as the brown citrus rust mite and citrus bud mite can only be seen with the aid of a microscope. In Western Australia, two spotted mites and citrus bud mites are the most common. Control bad infestations with sulphur, horticultural soap or a horticultural oil spray.

Mites.

Two-spotted mite

These mites (Tetranychus urticae) feed mainly on lower surface of leaves causing a typical yellow stippling or spotting effect. Occasionally, damage can also occur to fruit. Two-spotted mites are particularly active in warm to hot conditions and numbers can be reduced by spraying water beneath the foliage. Mite-eating ladybirds and predatory mites are natural control agents. Chemical control is usually not required.

Citrus bud mite

Citrus bud mites (Aceria sheldoni) can attack all citrus varieties but damage is mainly seen on lemons. Active year round symptoms of bud mite damage are distorted flowers, fruit and shoots. The mites usually hide inside leaf and flower buds, making control difficult.

Lemon bud mite damage on a lemon

Thrips

Thrips are small, slender soft-bodied insects just visible to the naked eye. Adults are only about 2mm long. Two exotic species of thrips damage citrus in Western Australia: Kelly’s citrus thrips (Pezothrips kellyanus) and greenhouse thrips (Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis). Kelly’s thrips feed under the calyx of young fruit causing scarring which develops into a distinctive halo as the fruit matures. Greenhouse thrips feed on the leaves, between touching fruit, or where leaves or stems touch the fruit. This results in the production of grey scars or “bleaching”.

Natural predators and parasites of thrips do occur or you can control the pests with sprays of horticultural soap or pyrethrin.

Citrus gall wasp

Citrus gall wasp is a pest of citrus trees grown in backyards and orchards. Citrus tree owners are encouraged to implement control measures on their property to reduce the threat to the citrus industry in Western Australia.

Swollen lumps on the young stems of citrus trees signal egg-laying activity by the wasps. The swellings get bigger as the wasp larvae grow. Please report suspected sightings to the Pest and Disease Information Sertvice (PaDIS). See Citrus gall wasp control for more information.

Citrus gall wasp damage

Other garden pests

Birds

Birds are generally less of a problem for citrus than for many other fruit types. However cockatoos, parrots and other birds may occasionally damage new shoots, twigs flowers and the fruit of citrus trees. Cover trees with netting or use a bird repellent containing aluminium ammonium sulphate to repel birds.

Rats and possums

Rats and possums are common pests of citrus and will eat the peels of fruits. Sometimes they will leave the peel and eat the flesh or the entire fruit. Control rats with baits. The best deterrent for possums is an old stocking stuffed with dog hair.

Rat damage to a lemon

Snails and slugs

Common garden snails and slugs feed on leaves and fruit at night, making holes and marks on fruit. Snails are also known to be responsible for ringbarking young shoots, twigs and trees resulting in twig and tree death in severe cases.

Snail and slug numbers are reduced naturally by some birds, lizards and sciomyzid flies. To reduce the snail and slug populations in your garden use snail traps or commercial baits. See Managing snails in citrus orchards for more information.

Caution

Chemicals can destroy beneficial insect populations that may be providing natural control of pest insects in your garden. Horticultural oils, horticultural soap and sulphur can burn foliage if used incorrectly and should not be used in hot weather. Follow label instructions.

15 Instagram Captions For Babies Eating As Cute As The Mess They’re Making

Of the 7,830 photos that are currently on my camera roll, a lot of them are of my kids eating. You, like me, have probably captured every mealtime moment, from when your baby latched onto your breast for the first time, to when your partner let your baby lick a lemon to see the hilarious response. Yes, your baby (and that bowl of cereal on his head) is utterly enjoyable. If you plan on sharing that adorable pic of your baby eating, you’ll need a cute Instagram captionto go along with it.

But why are photos of babies eating so precious in the first place? Well, for starters, babies are inherently messy eaters. I mean, who doesn’t love an image of an infant sitting proudly in her high chair with cake smeared all over her chubby little face and hands? Since we’re all taught to have proper table manners fairly early on, seeing your little one let loose and plunge into her pudding with gusto can make you feel a certain joie de vivre that can get lost in adulthood.

Plus, there’s no filter when a baby loves (or loathes) a new food, and those expressions can be utterly adorable. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder for us that eating is meant to be enjoyable and that we should savor every morsel, (of both our food and our lives), just like our sweet babes do. So as you scroll through your phone looking for that ideal Insta photo, check out these quippy captions that you can use to accompany that perfect picture.

1. Eating bananas like a BOSS.

Asian baby eating banana for tasting on the shopping cart

Capture your little monkey chowing down on a banana, which is often a baby’s first (and favorite) fruit.

2. “Did someone say boobs?”

Pretty much works with any nursing pic.

3. “Is it time for cake yet?”

Whether it’s for your baby’s first birthday or you’re just letting him have a taste of your red velvet, cake is always on the mind of your baby when it comes to a mealtime menu.

4. When you see your favorite snack…

Foster a love of food by offering your little foodie fun (and healthy) snacks.

5. “So you mean to tell me that spoons don’t really sound like airplanes?”

Spoon-feeding your baby while making big whooshy airplane noises is practically a parental rite of passage. But when your little one realizes that spoons are just, well, spoons, it can be a bit of a letdown.

6. “Trying to have dinner and Mommy won’t stop snapping pics.”

It can be a #proudmommy moment when your child finally eats his pureed stringbeans. Just be sure not to interrupt feeding time by sticking your phone in his face as you take a dozen pics of it.

7. “But my toes are soooo tasty!”

Cute baby girl lying on her back and touching her feet. Happy healthy kid at home in nursery

Sometimes, toes just taste better than that turkey veggie medley you’re trying to serve up for dinner.

8. That moment when the boobs come out.

Accompany a smiling babe with this caption. It’s so cute to capture that look of love when your baby knows that it’s time to nurse.

9. “Bring on the bottle!”

Bottle of milk… or bottle of wine? It could really go either way, depending on who’s saying it.

10. “You know that my poop is going to look like pureed carrots later, right?”

Sure, you’re happy that your baby ate all of his carrots, but that mischieveous look on his face means that you might be facing an orange-esque diaper change soon.

11. “Hmm, I’m not so sure about this solids stuff…”

Baby is finally sitting up like a big girl in her high chair, ready for the requisite Cheerios. But will she take a bite? Only time will tell…

12. “Just…. one…. more…. bite…”

Courtesy of Anne Vorrasi

When it’s time for your nap, but those puffs are just so darn tasty.

13. To sleep or to nurse, that is the question.

When breastfeeding your baby puts him into a food coma…

14. “So spaghetti *isn’t* a toy?”

You haven’t lived until you’ve snapped a shot of your baby sitting sweetly with a bowl of spaghetti on his head, all over his face, down his diaper… you get the idea.

15. “Pass the peas, please.”

Picking up peas and popping them into her mouth is oh-so-entertaining.

Lemon Tree Pests: Tips Treating Pests Of Lemon Trees

You love your lemon tree, with its fragrant blossoms and juicy fruit, but insects also love this citrus. There are a number of lemon tree insect pests. These include relatively harmless bugs, like aphids, and more serious pests, like citrus rust mite, one of the insects that affect lemons rather than foliage. Read on for more information about how to get rid of insects on lemon trees.

Lemon Tree Insect Pests

Some lemon tree pests are insects that affect most of the plants in your garden. Aphids are a good example. Masses of these small insects appear with the new, green foliage in springtime. They can damage young trees if not controlled by natural predators such as the ladybug. Bringing in ladybugs to control aphids is a good, organic option for treatment.

If the leaves of your lemon tree curl and you see little passageways carved into the foliage, your lemon tree pests may include the citrus leaf miner. True to its name, a leaf miner mines passageways through the outer layer of leaves to feed on the soft tissue beneath.

These lemon tree insect pests can weaken a young tree, but make little difference to a mature, established tree. Natural predators are a big help in ridding the lemon tree of these insects. If you have a lot of lemon trees attacked, you can get these lemon tree pests by introducing another predator, the parasitoid wasp.

Treating Pests of Lemon Trees

You can sometimes get rid of insects on lemon trees by spraying the trees frequently with oil sprays. This treatment can be very effective for the Asian citrus psyllid. These small lemon tree insect pests cause damage to new growth as they feed, due to their toxic saliva. Oil sprays do not have the downsides of toxic pesticides, yet prove effective against these insects.

Horticultural oil sprays are also effective in treating pests of lemon trees known as citrus rust mites. These are insects that affect lemons, for the mites attack immature fruit. They can also attack foliage and leaves in some cultivars. Repeated oil sprays will get rid of insects on lemon trees.

Citrus pest and disease problems – solutions to citrus problems

Citrus Leaf Miner

Two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae) affects ornamentals, fruit trees and some vegetables. Affected leaves have a mottled appearance or can be bronzed or shrivelled. Leave them to natural predators, but if the problem is severe, spray Searles Rose Pro.

More details on two-spotted mite

Bronze orange bug on citrus

Watch out for these brightly coloured bronze orange bugs on citrus trees and flowers. They suck the sap from young stems and damage new growth. They give off a bad smelling substance when threatened so its best to spray them with Searles Conguard to control their numbers.
More details on bronze orange bug

Fruit Fly on citrus

The Queensland fruit fly is common in the warmer times of year. After mating, the female lays her eggs under the skin of the fruit. When the maggot-like larvae hatch, they burrow deeper into the fruit causing it to rot. Searles Fruit Fly Trap is an effective reusable trap to monitor and control fruit fly activity around vegetables, particularly tomatoes, and around citrus trees. It contains a wick that attracts male fruit flies, traps and kills them, stopping the breeding cycle.
More details on fruit fly

Gall wasp on citrus stems

Small female wasps lays her eggs inside the branch of a citrus when the weather starts to warm up in spring. By summer time new tiny wasps escape from the swollen growth leaving the branch deformed. The citrus gall wasp does not directly kill the citrus tree but when repeated attacks occur it severely deforms the tree branches inhibiting normal growth. If you see lumps starting to appear cut the branch off promptly and remove the affected branch away from the tree.

Scale on citrus

Scale found on the leaves and stems of citrus are from sap sucking insects laying their eggs underneath the protection of a hard waxy dome shell. Once the immature ‘crawlers’ hatch they spread and multiply rapidly. Severe infestations can lead to branch dieback, leaf drop and yellowing of the leaves. Control red scale, white and pink wax scale with an organic oil spray Searles Ecofend Natural Solutions Fruit & Garden. Some soft scale, such as white wax scale and black scale secrete a sticky like substance ‘honeydew’ which then attracts the fungus sooty mould and ants to the plant. The ants protect the scale from predators, letting them proliferate even further. Treat the ants first.
More details on scales

Melanose

Melanose is a fungus that can multiply quickly in wet weather. Little dark brown, raised spots appear on immature leaves, twigs and fruit. In severe infestations, Melanose can cause fruit disfigurations and wood rot. Remove dead wood from your citrus where the spores lay and spray with Searles Copper Oxychloride when fungus is first sighted.

More details on melanose
Large citrus butterfly caterpillar

The small and large citrus butterfly caterpillar can strip citrus trees of their leaves and produce a strong foul odour when disturbed. This smelly, spiky and unattractive caterpillar will turn into a beautiful butterfly. If infestation is severe, spray tree leaves and branches with a natural Pyrethrum insecticide such as Searles Bug Beater. Alternatively you can hand pick them and squash them if you can handle the smell.

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