Almond Matters: Preventing Mite Populations from Taking Hold

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, mite populations can quickly grow when left untreated. Getting an early start to mitigation efforts will be the most helpful approach for keeping numbers low. Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll said mites have yet to become a significant issue this year. But that can quickly change as the season progresses.

mite populations

“I did some scouting on Saturday and did pick up a few females,” Burkdoll said. “I had to look hard to find them, but they were fat overwintering females so that means they’ve got eggs and they will be laying those eggs. As the temperatures warm up those eggs will hatch and then you get the first generation. I recommend going early with mites.”

While mite populations may not have started generating in orchards yet, growers will still want to closely monitor their operation over the coming weeks. Once temperatures heat up, populations can grow very rapidly. Being prepared to implement a management strategy is more likely to ensure greater control long-term. “Eggs are a lot easier, and the first mite nymphs are easier to kill than a rocking and rolling population that’s webbed over and looks like the haunted forest with webbing everywhere,” Burkdoll noted.

Part of getting an early start to curtailing mite populations is to allow time for good coverage when making an application. Without adequate coverage, populations can still take hold despite making an application. Burkdoll suggests making plans for an application within five or six days when females are discovered in the orchard.

“I like Zeal, it’s very effective. Etoxazole, the active ingredient, acts as basically an insect growth regulator,” Burkdoll noted. “It affects eggs as well as the first hatchlings that come out. So, it’s a very effective tool when used early.”

Listen to the report below.