A LADY fruit tree enthusiast sent us a photo of a seriously infested variegated orange. She wanted to know what she could do to control the infestation. That was in July 2019. At the end of this post, read what we did at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal.
EXPERT CONTACTED: Because we wanted to be sure of the answer, we contacted our good friend, Dr. Rodel Maghirang of UP Los Baños who immediately responded. He said he would consult an expert he knew. The recommendation the expert gave is to spray the infested plant with Actara or Thiametoxam. These are available in agricultural supply stores. Please take a look at the picture. You might have a similar problem.
ADDITIONAL INFO: When Dr. Reynaldo Lantin, a backyard citrus grower, saw the picture in this post, he sent his comment to share his experience in trying to control the infestation similar to that in the picture above. The same pest had infested his prized Kino sweet orange seedling he got from a Pakistani friend.
WE QUOTE: “The control that I used was to wet a sponge (Scotchbrite) with a mild solution of soap powder (Tide) and carefully wiped away the white spots. The citrus plant seemed to regain its vigor and I may have to repeat the process for mopping up operation. I hope this information would be of help to the micro-scale growers (backyard) of citrus like me.”
NEW INFO – AN ORGANIC OPTION – Dr.Maghirang had sent us (July 18, 2019) a new option to check the citrus pest. Soap or detergent diluted with water is used to wipe the leaves then followed by spraying with Entomopathogenic fungi developed by Dr. Jonar Yago of the Nueva Vizcaya State University. In 3 to 4 days, the infestation is reduced. Dr. Yago can be contacted at (0975) 239-2138.
AT THE SARIAN FARM: In January 2020, a frequent customer asked us to prepare 200 Vietnam Red pomelo marcots. He said he will pick up the plants in mid-April for planting in June when the rains come. When I checked the plants, they were also badly infected by the same malady. Heavy infection was observed in the shady area.
BOTHERED BY THE UGLY LOOK, I told Wendell, my nephew, to remove all the affected leaves and that’s what he did. He also pruned the trees that were shading them. They were exposed to the sun. Because of Covid-19, the customer could not pick up his order. When I checked the plants, they had already developed mature leaves and not one of them was affected by the leaf malady! The shady and humid condition must have been perfect for the proliferation of the problem spots.