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Asian Citrus Psyllid Distribution and Management
University of California
Asian Citrus Psyllid Distribution and Management

Insecticidal Control

Soil application of systemic insecticide by licensed applicator for sustained control of ACP. Photo credit: CDFA
Soil application of systemic insecticide by licensed applicator for sustained control of ACP. Photo credit: CDFA
Because the natural enemy wasp Tamarixia is unlikely to completely halt the spread of the HLB bacterium, robust protection of citrus trees will require some form of insecticidal control.

The most effective treatment for ACP is a combination of Tempo (cyfluthrin) spray combined with a soil drench of systemic Merit (imidacloprid) applied by a licensed applicator.

Homeowners can apply their own foliar sprays (Sevin, Malathion) when psyllids are observed.  Softer foliar insecticide options include horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps. However, these products must make direct contact with psyllids to kill them and the residues are short lived, so they must be applied more frequently.  

Homeowners can also apply systemic imidacloprid (Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable).  This soil drench should be applied during summer or fall when roots are active. 

Type of treatment Pesticide Name

Effectiveness against ACP 

Duration of control

Application timing
Professional treatment Tempo & Merit High Months

Foliar: when psyllids are present

Systemic: summer or fall
Homeowner-applied broad-spectrum foliars Sevin, Malathion Moderate Weeks  When psyllids are observed
Homeowner-applied soil drench Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Moderate Months When psyllids are observed in summer or fall
Homeowner-applied soft foliars Insecticidal soaps, oils and pyrethrins Low to moderate Days Every 7-10 days during *leaf flushing

 *Flushing: when new leaves are first developing until they expand and harden

Treatment Considerations

  • always follow label instructions for the safe and effective use of the product
  • only apply pesticides if psyllids have been observed
  • only apply insecticides to host plants of psyllids (citrus and closely related hosts)
  • avoid using insecticides during blooming periods to limit impacts on bees
  • good coverage, including undersides of leaves, is important for foliar sprays
  • If Tamarixia wasps have been found near your home, then use the soft insecticides (oils and soaps) that are safer for the Tamaraxia.
Webmaster Email: robjohnson@ucanr.edu