In this week’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent USA Corporation, temperatures will soon be heating up. Valent’s Pat Clay said the heat will spur spider mite activity. “The timing on mites varies from year to year and really has to do with environmental conditions,” he said. “They are going to typically start to build up when the conditions are hotter and dryer.”
Usually, May and into June is the time mite populations are building up. Clay said with most miticides, that is the best time to make an application.
There are also very good natural predators to mites in orchards. Clay said it’s important for growers to make sure they are targeting just the mites when they use a product. “In some of the insecticide treatments that growers might be having to make, trying to use some of the more focused materials where they aren’t wiping out those natural predator populations is always a benefit to the grower,” he said. “The miticide that a grower chooses is also important. As an example, Zeal and some of the newer miticides are very targeted to mites and do not have a big impact on those natural predators.”