The Tamarixia insect is a tiny bug that specifically feeds on the psyllid that spreads Huanglongbing disease. AgNet West’s Taylor Hillman has an update on the funding for the research.
As AgNet West has reported before, an insect known as Tamarixia is showing promising results as being a biological control for the Asian citrus psyllid. The insect primarily feeds on the psyllid, and researchers are continuing to look into how effective they can be. Chief Operating Officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation Dr. Harold Browning was at the 2014 Citrus Expo in Florida and said a portion of the funding for research is being used to fully integrate the insect and allow them to see their potential full impact.
Researchers believe the insect can be 30% effective and a viable addition to a management system. The one road block experts in California are having is generating enough of the insects’ population. Tamarixia only feed on a few things and needs large groups of Asian citrus psyllids to grow, something California’s citrus industry is trying to avoid.