Pests threaten Jamaican citrus
Officials in Jamaica are concerned about a recently discovered strain of butterflies that could have a 'devastating' impact on Jamaican citrus crops, a report in Dominican Today said.
The pests are a particular concern because the citrus industry is still trying to recover from a citrus virus in 2001 that cut Jamaican citrus exports from more than $4 million in 2001 to just over $1 million in 2005, the report said.
The Lime Swallowtail Butterfly has been discovered in two locations. The butterflies feed on citrus leaves and basically defoliate the plants.
Jamaica Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke said the insects have been discovered in two locations. Workings have been hand picking the pupae of the butterflies from plants to stop spreading. But he said the government had not yet authorized a spraying program.