In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, with mite populations becoming more active now that the weather has warmed up, growers should be considering their mite control programs.
“Zeal is very effective on twospotted spider mites as well as Pacific mites,” said Manager of Field Development for Valent USA Pat Clay, “and the chemical residues of the product last quite a long time.”
Growers should be monitoring their orchards for the presence of mite populations, as a timely response is going to be important for adequate control, particularly when dealing with large operations. “We like to think about a threshold ranging from 15 to 25 percent of the leaves being infested with mites,” said Clay. “With a lot of these large acreages it takes time, once a PCA makes an application decision, it takes time for the grower to get across all those acres.”
While Zeal will not eliminate current populations of adult mites, it is effective in preventing the next generation from establishing. “Zeal works by inhibiting the molting process, so each nymph stage as it molts to the next stage will die. It also has the ability to sterilize the adult female…it generally takes 10 to 14 days to see those adults cycle out,” said Clay.
Populations of beneficial insects such as the sixspotted thrip can also assist growers with their mite control. “Zeal is very soft on many of the beneficials and will provide additional residual control if those populations are left intact,” Clay said.
Growers who are applying broad spectrum materials to address other pest concerns will need to be especially diligent in their monitoring for mite populations. “Consider upping the scouting and watching those mite populations following that application because they could start to build very quickly,” said Clay.
Listen to Clay’s interview below.