Meteorological Problems in the Forecasting of Citrus Insect Infestations

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  • 1 University of Florida, Citrus Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida
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As a basis for forecasting infestations, data on insect and mite populations have been collected from 130 representative central Florida citrus groves at monthly intervals during a four year period. To some extent, forecasts can be based on recurring annual cycles, but to obtain a higher degree of precision, information must be obtained on the factors which regulate populations. Weather conditions affect the life span and mortality of insects and mites directly, and also indirectly through effects on the abundance and efficiency of parasites, predators and diseases. December temperatures have been found to be a factor in the abundance of six-spotted mites in succeeding months through June. The populations of this and the citrus red mite are inversely correlated with rainfall. Other temperature and moisture relations have been established but extensive further microclimatological studies are needed.

* Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 375.

** Associate Entomologist-Pathologist, University of Florida, Citrus Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida.

As a basis for forecasting infestations, data on insect and mite populations have been collected from 130 representative central Florida citrus groves at monthly intervals during a four year period. To some extent, forecasts can be based on recurring annual cycles, but to obtain a higher degree of precision, information must be obtained on the factors which regulate populations. Weather conditions affect the life span and mortality of insects and mites directly, and also indirectly through effects on the abundance and efficiency of parasites, predators and diseases. December temperatures have been found to be a factor in the abundance of six-spotted mites in succeeding months through June. The populations of this and the citrus red mite are inversely correlated with rainfall. Other temperature and moisture relations have been established but extensive further microclimatological studies are needed.

* Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series, No. 375.

** Associate Entomologist-Pathologist, University of Florida, Citrus Experiment Station, Lake Alfred, Florida.

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