095 - Aphid Management of Pomegranates
Principal Investigator: Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside and Director of the Lindcove Research and Extension Center
Cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii
, is a highly damaging insect pest to citrus, cotton, melons and pomegranate crops in California. Cotton aphid reduces crop yields via removal of crop photosynthates, contaminates commodities by excreting honeydew, transmits serious virus diseases, directly contaminates produce, and contributes to increased crop protection costs. Cotton aphid is the primary vector of citrus tristeza virus in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Cotton aphid uses pomegranate as an overwintering host, laying eggs on the pomegranate twigs. In the spring, numerous aphids hatch and the populations move to citrus when citrus tristeza virus titers are high. This project proposes to utilize natural enemies in combination with carefully timed selective insecticides to reduce the number of aphids moving from pomegranates to citrus in the spring and so reduce the impact of citrus tristeza virus.