The Directorate-General for Agricultural and Livestock Production has once again warned of the risk posed by the Delottococcus aberiae pest, which attacks a large number of crops, including citrus.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Sustainable Development of Andalusia has been developing the Andalusian Plan for Phytosanitary Surveillance in Citrus since 2015. The goal of the plan is the early detection and eradication of foreign organisms that may affect the cultivation of citrus in the community, including Delottococcus aberiae.
One of the recommendations to be adopted, which was recently shared by the Network of Alert and Phytosanitary Information of Andalusia, RAIF, is that the containers, boxes, or packaging used for the distribution of fruits or plant material, an important source of dispersion of the pest, must be for single use or be conveniently disinfected.
This measure is particularly relevant in those cases where these containers may have been in areas where the pest is present.
Delottococcus aberiae causes quite serious direct damage, especially in fruit, as when the insect feeds from it, it can cause serious deformations to it that lead to the commercial depreciation of the fruit. On the other hand, this insect feeds on sap and secret molasses that cause the proliferation of fungi, which also leads to a decrease in photosynthesis and the loss of vigor of the plant, Asaja Sevilla stated.
The RAIF emphasizes that it is important to pay special attention to the fruits, both in the field and in the handling centers, and -in the case of observing deformations- give notice to the Department of Plant Health of the corresponding province.