is a means of reducing populations of an unwanted pest, like the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), by using another insect that is a natural predator or parasite. In Asia, where the psyllid originates, a tiny, stingless wasp called Tamarixia naturally preys on the Asian citrus psyllid, which naturally reduces their population. For the past 4 years, the USDA-APHIS program in Texas has developed a successful biological program to reduce the Asian citrus psyllid population. The Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation has started its own biological control program to help increase the production of Tamarixia. Although this program is not a solution to citrus greening disease, it is a step in the right direction to slow its spread. For this program to be successful, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
is a tiny, stingless wasp that is a natural predator of the Asian citrus psyllid. This tiny wasp, no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence, is harmless to humans, pets, plants or other insects. It only feeds on young Asian citrus psyllids preventing them from reaching adulthood and reduces the ACP population, which will help protect our citrus trees. Trained teams of researchers are releasing Tamarixia onto citrus trees across the Rio Grande Valley and are also using lemon and lime trees to set up rearing cages, which can produce 20 times more Tamarixia than a traditional green house cage.
There are two different options for releasing Tamarixia on their hunt for ACP.
1. Release by hand: The most simple way to release Tamarixia is to open a container of insects onto the leaves of a citrus tree. The Tamarixia will then fly off in search of ACP.
2. Rearing cages: The best way to release Tamarixia to reduce ACP populations is with a rearing cage. We are recruiting residents that have lemon or lime trees that are willing to have their tree trimmed and covered by a 12×12 foot metal framed mesh tent for 2 months. Once the tent is removed, an estimated 12,000 Tamarixia will be released on their mission to hunt down ACP.