Hot Water Treatment and Insecticidal Coatings for Disinfesting Limes of Mealybugs (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae)

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Hot water immersion and insecticidal coatings were tested to determine if they could be used to disinfest Persian limes, Citrus latifolia Tanaka, of the mealybug pests Planococcus citri Risso and Pseudococcus odermatti Miller & Williams. A 20-min 49°C hot water immersion treatment is effective in killing mealybugs and all other arthropods tested found externally on limes, or under the calyx. No insects or mites were found to survive after the 20-min hot water treatment. In this test, 7,200 limes were treated with 1,308 insects killed and zero survivors. Treatment at 49°C for 20 min did not significantly affect quality when treated fruit were compared with untreated control fruit. Four coatings were tested at a 3% rate: two petroleum-based oils (Ampol and Sunspray oil), a vegetable oil (natural oil), and a soap (Mpede). The coatings gave up to 94% kill (Ampol) of mealybugs, which is not sufficient to provide quarantine security. The coatings might be effective as a postharvest dip before shipment.
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