Persimmon Insect, Mite & Nematode Pests
Gill’s mealybugs, Ferrisia gilli, is the most prominent pest in commercial persimmon production in California. It has a long, thin, waxy filament extending from the dorsum and produces live crawlers without an egg stage. Other mealybugs which commonly infest commercial persimmon orchards include: Grape mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus) and Longtailed mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus). Mealybugs colonize in large numbers forming cottony masses on the plant, which can retard plant growth and cause leaf and fruit drop and twig dieback (Carroll, 2013). Redhumped caterpillar (Schizura concinna) is commonly found in warm areas including the central valley of California. Redhumped caterpillars feed on the lower leaf surface and can defoliate persimmon trees (LaRue, 1982).
Soft scales (Parthenolecanium spp.) suck fluids from bark, fruit and leaves. Although scales do not generally directly damage the plant they do excrete honeydew (sweet, sticky liquid), which fosters black sooty mold and attracts ants. Oblique-banded leafroller (OBL), Choristoneura rosaceana, feeds on and underneath the calyx. OBL causes calyx damage and contaminate fruit with their excrement making the fruit unmarketable (Carroll, 2013).
Rootknot nematode, Meloidogyne spp., cause galls on infected roots, which interferes with water and nutrient flow to the canopy. In addition, galls may split open allowing soil-borne microorganisms to enter and infect the root system (UC Statewide IPM Program).
For detailed information: UC Statewide IPM Program: How to Manage Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Persimmons
These photos are accessed from the UC ANR Repository, are available courtesy of University of California research and extension personnel and programs, including the UC Statewide IPM Program. Photo information, including the photographer, is displayed when the larger image is viewed.