Agronomic Minute: Mite Mitigation Approaches

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Mite Mitigation

Warming temperatures mean that mite mitigation programs will be put into action in almond and walnut orchards. Early efforts can be particularly valuable in preventing populations from ramping up during the summer months. UPL Technical Service Manager Emily Smith said growers and pest control advisors will want to be diligent in their monitoring efforts.

“Mites typically start to become an issue at this time of the year. As things warm up, that can make them explode. So, they want to be scouting and checking that out,” said Smith. “They should definitely be out there weekly. Populations can explode very, very quickly. They can have a generation maybe every seven to 10 days depending on temperatures.”

The speed at which populations can get out of control makes early prevention efforts critical. Leaf stippling and webbing are strong indicators of mite populations growing in orchards. Smith explained that they have several materials that can help address mite problems in orchards. “Probably our most well-known is Vigilant which is bifenazate. We have Vigilant and Acramite, both really strong products. They’re very soft on beneficials which is really important,” said Smith.

When mite populations build up it can be increasingly difficult to control the pest. Substantial webbing can prevent miticide applications from being effective as eggs remain protected under the dense webbing. Preventative action and appropriate material selection is the best recommendation for mite mitigation, in keeping populations manageable and allowing predatory insects to thrive.

“If you have a miticide that can knock down those populations and then preserves the beneficials – if there’s any sort of mites that we missed, or they start to build back up – those predators can control that population,” Smith noted. “You get an even longer-lasting control from your miticide because the beneficial insects are still there.”

Listen to the full episode below.