Sunday, May 11, 2008

Landscape and Nursery - Southern Red Mite

This is the time of the year that Southern Red Mite (Oligonychus ilicis) is out and active. The following is an article on this pest.

Southern red mite. Photo by John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,

Be on the look out for southern red on Japanese holly, camelia, laurel, azaleas, and pyracantha. You may be able to find eggs, immature mites and some mature mites. This mite is one of the most destructive mites of broad leaved evergreen plants. It feeds using piercing mouthparts to damage plant cells and causes a stippling to the foliage that can be noticed as the population increases. Examine foliage of plants in hot, sunny locations for mite activity. Dry wather will increase activity of this mite.

Monitoring: Examine the undersides of foliage of Japanese holly, camellia, laurel, azaleas, and pyracantha. These guys are small so you may want to beat foliage over a white piece of paper and look for small reddish “spots” crawling around.

Control: Since southern red mite just hatched you have the options of using mite growth regulators such as Hexygon. Most arborists mix 1 % horticultural oil with Hexygon. Other good materials to use include Forbid, Akari, Floramite, or Avid.

Information adapted from an article in the May 12, 2006 edition of the TPM/IPM Weekly Report for Arborists, Landscape Managers & Nursery Managers from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension

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