Persian lime trees are highly susceptible to infestation by a type of aphid that can destroy your home citrus grove. Aphids carry an extremely harmful disease that they transfer to your Persian lime trees. Get to know the particulars of the insects and the disease that could mean the life of your tree as a means of planning for a healthy home landscape.
Vigorous Persian lime trees (Citrus latifolia Miller) are more capable of resisting and getting over pest infestations when compared to trees in decline or under stress. Plant Persian limes in areas that provide full sun exposure and good air circulation, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Ideal growth includes extremely well-drained soil for successful fruit development and avoidance of diseases.
Toxoptera citricida (Kirkaldy), known as brown citrus aphid (BrCA), is a devastating pest of Persian lime trees, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. In their adult stage, brown citrus aphids are winged or wingless and display glossy black bodies. In their young nymph stage, bodies are a dark red/brown hue. Persian lime tree aphids carry a disease called citrus tristeza virus (CTV) that they transmit through feeding.
Both adults and nymphs feed on Persian lime trees, particularly on fresh growth, resulting in malformed plant parts and dieback of stems, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. When Persian lime trees become infected by CTV by aphids, the effect is tree decline and tree death often occurs.
Purchase trees that are disease-free to prevent introducing problematic plants into your home garden. For natural control of aphids, consider the use of natural parasites and enemies that control aphid populations without causing further damage to your lime trees. Predators like ladybird beetles hunt and kill aphids for chemical-free management, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension IPM. Locate and purchase natural enemies in garden supply stores or catalogs.
For aphid control on your Persian lime trees, apply an appropriate pesticide. Application of a systemic chemical with the active ingredient aldicarb is an effective management method when applied to soil, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Additionally, this type of chemical control is not very disruptive to the beneficial insects in soil, so the chemical can control aphids without destroying the ecology of the Persian lime tree's culture.