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UC Pest Management Guidelines


Avocado lace bug, Pseudacysta perseae, colony on the underside of a leaf and damage on the upper side of adjacent infested leaves.

Avocado

Avocado Lace Bug

Scientific name: Pseudacysta perseae

(Reviewed 1/07, updated 8/08)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

Avocado lace bug (family Tingidae) occurs in parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, and southeastern United States. As of 2006, in California it occurs only in San Diego County. Also known as the camphor lace bug, its only known hosts are various Persea species and the camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), which is grown as a landscape ornamental and commercially for its aromatic extracts.

Lace bugs do not feed on fruit. Adults and nymphs feed in groups on the underside of leaves. This sucking pest causes chlorotic blotches on foliage, which become necrotic. Severely damaged leaves may drop prematurely. Defoliation can result in sunburned fruit and wood and stressed trees, reducing subsequent yield.

Adults are about 0.08 inch (2 mm) long oval shaped insects with a dark (black or brownish) head and thorax. Their abdomen, antennae, legs, and wing covers have both dark and light (orangish, yellowish, or white) areas. Nymphs are mostly dark and orangish, resembling the adults without wings. Eggs are laid on leaves within shiny black globs of excrement. Insects develop from egg to adult in about 1 month during warm weather and have several generations a year. All stages can be present throughout the year.

DAMAGE

Relatively little is known about this insect in California. Populations increase during summer, and high populations and severe foliage damage occur in California on some untreated avocado trees. Avocado lace bug is an intermittent pest in Florida on avocado.

MANAGEMENT

An important component of managing avocado lace bug is preventing its spread into uninfested areas. Do not move uncertified host material or dirty bins from infested areas. Clean bins and other potentially infested equipment and materials before bringing them into groves, as lace bugs may survive and spread on leaf debris. Conserve resident natural enemies that prey on lace bugs, including lacewing larvae and predatory thrips. The introduction of natural enemy species is being researched in an effort to provide classical biological control. At least two species of parasitic wasps kill avocado lace bug eggs in Florida, an unidentified species in the family Mymaridae and an Oligosita sp. (Trichogrammatidae).

Do not treat low populations of lace bugs. If populations are increasing and are anticipated to cause extensive foliage damage or premature leaf drop, where feasible make a foliar spray of short-persistence contact materials such as oil or pyrethrin. Avoid persistent, broad-spectrum insecticides, which can disrupt biological control of other pests in avocado. Certain systemic insecticides can be very effective and may be available for application through irrigation systems.

Organically Acceptable Methods

Sprays of pyrethrin (PyGanic) and certain oils are acceptable for use in an organically certified crop.

Common name Amount to use R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the impact on natural enemies and honey bees and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
 
A. NARROW RANGE OIL#
Label rates
4
0
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Requires good coverage to be effective. Check with certifier to determine which products are organically acceptable.
   
B. IMIDACLOPRID
  (Admire Pro)
14 fl oz/acre
12
6
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 4A
  COMMENTS: Do not exceed 14 fl oz/acre per season. Apply by chemigation through low-pressure drip, trickle, microsprinkler or equivalent equipment. Application may only occur pre-bloom or during bloom period. Post bloom applications are not allowed. Bees shall not be used in avocado treated while avocado is in bloom. Remove bee hives from avocado orchards prior to application. Hives may be returned only after the avocado bloom period has ended.
 
C. PYRETHRIN#
  (PyGanic)
Label rates
12
0
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 3
  COMMENTS: Because there is little residual activity, repeat application may be needed in 2-3 weeks and control may be only partial.
   
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode of action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.

IMPORTANT LINKS

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Avocado
UC ANR Publication 3436
Invertebrates
B. A. Faber, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara/Ventura counties
J. G. Morse, Entomology, UC Riverside
M. S. Hoddle, Entomology, UC Riverside
Acknowledgment for contributions to Invertebrates:
P. A. Phillips, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
M. Blua, Entomology, UC Riverside
P. Oevering, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
D. Machlitt, Consulting Entomology Services, Moorpark, CA
T. Roberts, Integrated Consulting Entomology, Ventura, CA
B. B. Westerdahl, Nematology, UC Davis

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