Of all the tree fruits, citrus fruits are those with the highest trade value on a world basis. Oranges are the most significant commercially, accounting for more than half the estimated total worldwide annual citrus production of 70 million tonnes.
Susceptibility to Slug Damage
Both foliage and fruit are especially vulnerable to damage from slugs and snails.
Species of Concern
Several species of slug and snail will attack citrus trees, depending on where in the world they are growing. The common snail, Cornu aspersum, sometimes known as the brown snail, is widespread in several regions and causes serious damage to citrus groves. Theba pisana, the banded snail, has also spread to several regions in Europe.
Symptoms of Attack
Holes in leaves and pitting, or scarring, on fruit will usually signal the presence of snails. Snails can often been seen on the fruit in the region opposite the flower stalk
As usual, a combination of cultural and chemical methods can provide the best control.
Cleaning up debris around the base of the tree will remove breeding and hiding places for snails. Use of bands around the trunk can minimise the number of snails reaching the leaves and fruit. A well-timed application of AXCELA® pellets throughout the grove, around the base of the trunks, will provide effective population reduction. Pelleting should be undertaken immediately after irrigation or rainfall, when the soil is wet and snails are active.