Friday, September 4, 2009

Landscape - Managing Cool Season Mites

The following is information on managing cool season mites in the landscape. These pests are now active in Delaware.

Cool Season Mites.

This year has been unusually cool, so cool season mites may become active sooner than previous years. Cool season mites such as spruce spider mites and southern red mites become more active as temperature are consistently in the 60's and 70's. Shake a branch or small portion of the plant against a clipboard with a white sheet of paper to monitor mite populations. Mites will begin to move a few moments after shaking and will appear as dots the size of periods. Predatory mites usually move quicker than herbivorous mites and a hand lens will be helpful to recognize the pests. Predatory mites and small lady beetles are common predators of pest mites. Miticides available for controlling these mites include: hexythiazox (Hexygon, Savy), bifenazate (Floramite), abamectin (Avid) and others. Research has shown bifenthrin (Talstar) to cause mite resurgences because it also kills many of the beneficial arthropods helping to keep populations low.

Information from Brian Kunkel, Ornamental IPM Specialist, UD

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