(WGNO) – Damaged satsuma fruit is infecting roughly 10 percent of this year’s commercial and backyard crop according to an article posted on KATC’s website.
Turns out the western leaf-footed bug is to blame and there’s no way to tell if the satsuma is contaminated until you peel the fruit.
“The whole fruit is not rotted. It’s just some of the wedges at random,” says LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Raj Singh.
Singh says the bugs also dine on a host of other crops including fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts, tomatoes being their absolute favorite. The bugs move to the citrus trees when they begin to bloom and again when the fruit is growing.
So what can you do to stop the bugs?
Commercial growers start spraying insecticides when the bugs begin to gather on satsumas.
“If they see five to six bugs on their fruits, it’s definitely time to spray,” says Singh.
Backyard growers should do the same, says Singh.