The application of insecticides to control Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is a principal component of the current management for citrus greening disease or Huanglongbing. It is recommended that growers apply systemic insecticides such as imidacloprid and thiamethoxam every 2 mo after seedling planting, but this practice renders the seedlings insecticide-free and vulnerable to psyllid infestation in the first 2 mo. We evaluated the risk of vector invasion during this period from field studies of the psyllid in five new king mandarin, Citrus nobilis Loureiro, orchards in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The first psyllids were found after the first 2 wk, and 2 to 60% of the trees were finally infested by psyllids during the 2 mo. The risk of psyllid invasion could be significantly reduced if the insecticide were applied to seedlings before planting. Three systemics, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin, were examined in both a net house and in the field to assess how quickly they could be effective after application and how long their efficacy could continue. High psyllid mortality >80% was attained in 10 d after application, and this level was maintained for 90 d in the net house and for 60 d in the field. Based on these results, we propose the effective use of neonicotinoids for protection of citrus seedlings against invasive psyllids during the first 2 mo after planting.
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Vol. 103 • No. 1