Peach, flowering (Prunus)-Peach silver mite

Vasates cornutus

Pest description and crop damage Peach silver mites are tiny, four legged eriophyid mites, yellow to pinkish white, and somewhat wedge-shaped. On rare occasions when very high populations of peach silver mite survive the winter, they produce symptoms on the unfolding leaves. Symptoms consist of minute, yellow spots and a tendency for the leaf edges to curl toward the midrib. Ordinarily, however, most injury is not noticed until mid- to late summer, when heavily infested leaves take on a silvery appearance.

Biology and life history The mites overwinter as females in bark crevices, around buds, and under bud scale. They move to the leaves soon after budbreak in spring. Later in the season, they are found primarily on the lower leaf surface. Before leaf fall, females move to overwintering sites. Many generations are produced during the season.

Management-biological control

Treatments applied specifically for control of peach silver mite rarely are needed and should be avoided, because peach silver mites serve as early season food for predaceous mites, which in turn aid in reducing populations of other pest mites. The use of broad-spectrum insecticides for other pests can cause high infestations of peach silver mite.

Management-chemical control