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Publication #ENY-413

Insect Management in Mango1

Jorge Pena2

This might be termed an insect pest control program, except that not all pests will be present each year. It is important to make careful examinations of trees for insect pests and apply measures for control only when they are needed. See Table 1.

The following insecticides are listed by the EPA as being cleared for use on mangos: methidathion (Supracide), insecticidal soap (M-Pede), Bacillus thuringiensis, oil spray (97% Aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons), sulfur and Pyrellin (pyrethrins + rotenone).

These materials are sold under numerous trade names and the individual labels often differ from each other. In order to find the individual label that has specific directions for your use, contact the local County Agricultural Agent's office or local agricultural supply dealers.

Under the FIFRA amendment of 1978 the grower may use a material (insecticide) that is legal and EPA approved for a pest on a crop for other non-listed pests as long as the user follows the label directions and rates for the approved pest.

Precautions and Restrictions

Oil emulsion sprays may injure trees if applied during a very cold, dry period or during a hot (90°F) period.

Do not mix sulfur with oil emulsion or use either material within 3 weeks of the other.

There is no required waiting period for oil emulsion, sulfur, or Pyrellin.

Supracide - use only during postharvest to bloom stage. Do not exceed 5 applications per season.

Specific Pests


The scolytid beetles, Xylosandrus spp., attack the main stem and branches. Fungus mycellium growth can extend terminally and basally from the beetle gallery in the mango tree and can kill the affected branches. The insects prefer trees that have been weakened by pathogens, wind, etc., but after a population has been established in one orchard the infestation spreads to healthy trees.


The citrus mealybug may infest fruit and cause irregular spotting.


Several kinds including lesser snow, coconut, pyriform, mango shield, oleander, acuminate, false oleander scale, Florida wax, Florida red and dictyospermum may infest mango. These scales are found on the upper or lower surfaces of leaves and also on fruits.

Infestations of the mango scale, Radionaspis indica and plumose scale, Morganella longispina (Morgan) commonly occur on the trunk, branches and buds. Severe infestations can include crackling of the bark, exudation of sap and decline of upper branches.

Control. Check trees and, if needed, apply the following in 100 gallons of water: 1/2 - 1 pint Supracide + 0.5% oil per acre (false oleander scale).

Spider Mites

The avocado red mite and the mango bud mite are serious mango problems.

The mango bud mite, Aceria mangiferae (Sayed) causes proliferation of stems at the terminal branch. This symptom is known as witches broom. Young trees can be stunted if severely attacked during several consecutive seasons by this mite.

The avocado red mite is a common pest of mango in Florida. Feeding is first confined to the upper surface of mango leaves; it is found first along the midrib, then along secondary leaf veins. The areas along the veins become reddish-brown and during heavy infestations can be covered with mite's cast skins. Damage to the leaf area is regularly observed from October through February, causing up to 30% reduction of photosynthetic activity of the leaves. This mite is an occasional pest in some orchards and is seldom observed in others. Periodic inspections are recommended during December, January and February. Control measures may be started when the population reaches 6 or more mites per leaf.

Life Cycle. The eggs are spherical, stalked and adults have a pinkish color in their middle area with many purplish-brown blotches. The duration of the life stages can last from 14 to 15 days. Females are capable of laying 40 to 50 eggs during their life span.

Control. Few miticides are registered for use on mango. Apply sulfur dust, or spray with sulfur using 10 pounds of wettable sulfur per 100 gallons of water. Insecticidal soap and Pyrellin are also registered.


In Florida, the thrips complex consisting of Frankliniella bispinosa (Morgan) and F. kelliae (Sakimura) is the most frequently observed blossom pest on flowers. It causes damage by ovipositing in the panicle and feeding on the floral nectaries and anthers, which may result in premature loss of pollen. Yield reduction might occur if thrips densities reach more than 400 thrips per panicle. These thrips are light-yellowish and appear commonly during the dry season (January to April).

The red banded thrips, Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard) feed on the underside of the leaves, causing necrosis and subsequent leaf drop. Adult thrips are dark-bodied with red band on the abdomen. The immature stages are light orange and red.


The whiteflies/blackflies suck cell sap from leaves, which wilt when whitefly populations are high. High infestations can almost blacken entire trees, reducing photosynthetic efficiency and causing defoliation. A number of parasitoids, i.e., Encarsia spp., attack immature stages and provide good control.


Pyrellin (pyrethrin + rotenone) is labeled on mangos for aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, weevils and whiteflies. Use 1 - 2 pts/acre. It can be used until harvest.


Table 1. 

Insecticides registered for mango in Florida.

Chemical Name

Brand Name(s)

Pest(s) Controlled


Align, Azatin

general insecticide

Bacillus thuringiensis

Dipel, others

lepidoptera larvae

Beauveria bassiana


aphids, mealybugs, thrips, others






various insects, mites






various insects, mites



general plant disease and insect management



various insects, mites

Horticultural Oils

(various refined)

Sunspray, citrus spray oil, crop oil, FC 435-66, FC 455-88, others

various aphids, mites, scales







Kaolin (clay)


barrier and irritant to various insects



thrips, scales






lepidoptera larvae

Myrothecium verruearia



Potassium salts of fatty acids

Safer Soap

aphids, lace bugs, mealy bugs, spidermites, others



aphids, whiteflies

Pyrethrin + rotenone


aphids, lepidoptera, thrips



aphids, lepidoptera, mites, thrips


Esteem ant bait



Knack, Esteem






SpinTor 2SC

lepidoptera larvae, thrips, mirids


Sulfur 6L, Sulfur Flowable, Thiolux


1 For use with non-bearing trees only.

2 For nursery/nonbearing trees only.



This document is ENY-413, one of a series of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Extension. Date first printed October 1993. Revised July 2006. Reviewed November 2013. Please visit the EDIS website at


Jorge Pena, professor, Entomology and Nematology Department, Tropical Research and Education Center, UF/IFAS Extension, Homestead, FL 33031.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.