Leprosis has been expanding in the Brazilian citrus belt for the last six years and is an increasingly significant cause of fruit drop. The disease also reduces the useful life of trees. The main disease management strategy is to keep the Brevipalpus yothersi mite population at low levels by applying acaricides. The mite transmits the citrus leprosis virus, which mainly affects sweet orange trees.
For this control to be more effective and longer lasting, adequate monitoring of the mite must be carried out, so that its population level is detected before and soon after the acaricide is applied. Failure to monitor the mite, in addition to delay in the application of the acaricide, lead to a reduction in the control period and the need for reapplication.
Fundecitrus recently issued recommendations for leprosis management in Brazil. When applying acaricide, growers must use calibrated sprayers and have good coverage throughout the entire canopy of the plant. Special attention should be given to the inner parts and tops of trees.