The new products are more selective than broad-spectrum insecticides, Stansly says. Timing their applications is important, focusing on specific life stages of the pest as well as considering impacts on secondary pests and beneficial insects.
Predatory and other beneficial insects are crucial.
"We don't realize what beneficials are doing for us until they're not there," Stansly says. "But it's hard to get them back after that."
Keeping pests in check while encouraging beneficial insects to thrive calls for added management. Tweaking such a complex equation is generally a better approach than "hitting it with a sledgehammer," he says.
"Huanglongbing has probably doubled production costs" as growers strive not only to keep the disease and the pest that vectors it out of their groves, but also to boost nutritional program, he says. "As long as prices stay high for the crop they can accept it."
The disease affects not only the current crop but also threatens trees' underlying health and future crops.
"It scared growers to death," he says. "But we're still alive and kicking here in Florida."