Spain: researchers develop citrus red scale treatment - FreshFruitPortal.com

Spain: researchers develop citrus red scale treatment

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Spain: researchers develop citrus red scale treatment

Spanish researchers have found a way to eradicate major citrus pest Aonidiella aurantii or red scale using two types of wasps called Comperiella bifasciata and Aphytis melinus, website Finanzas.com reported.oranges_68643514

Red scale is an armored insect that can cause extensive cosmetic damage to citrus peels. The pest has been known to affect crops in several citrus producing nations, including the United States, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and South Africa.

In Spain, the pest has been of particular concern in Andalusia and left growers looking for alternative management solutions, explained José Enrique González Zamora, head of the research program at Universidad de Sevilla.

"At least once a year, normally in June, Andalusian farmers use phytosanitary treatments to combate this pest and if necessary, another treatment is done in August," he said in finanzas.com.

To avoid chemical treatment, González and his research team have suggested using biological controls such as wasps. Wasps will form colonies in the crops and regulate the pest population.

The study sponsored by Riotinto Fruit and Junta de Andalucía took place over three years. Researchers from Universidad de Sevilla worked closely with the red scale-relative, the oleander scale or Aspidiotus nerii. They also worked on developing mass wasp production.

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