Be careful! Invasive citrus root weed has arrived in Tallahassee

The citrus root borer (Diaprepes abbreviatus) is a new invasive insect pest of specialty crops in Leon County. The first samples of the insect were collected from satsuma mandarin trees at the FAMU Viticulture and Small Fruit Research Center during the summer.

Common host plants for citrus rootworm include citrus, grape, papaya, sweet potato, sugar cane, cotton, peanut, corn, and other plant species. The pest is known to feed on more than 270 plant species from 59 different families.

The leaves of the citrus root cause damage not only to citrus plants, but also to other plants, such as these blackberry leaves.

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Although the pest is native to the Caribbean, it was introduced to Florida in 1964 in a shipment of ornamental plants from Puerto Rico.

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