Cane fruit-Redberry mite

Acalitus essigi

Pest description and crop damage Evergreen blackberries are infested most often, but other caneberries are also susceptible. This four-legged mite is only about 4 mm long and feeds at the base of berry drupelets in spring and summer, which causes persistence of red color at harvest time; affected drupelets remain hard.

Biology and life history These very small mites overwinter as adults in bud scale and in other crevices on the plant.

Management-biological control

Predator mites are effective natural controls.

Management-chemical control: HOME USE

Delayed-dormant season spray

  • superior-type oil-Spray when floricane lateral growth is 2 to 6 inches long. This application may be repeated in the fall. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE

Dormant spray

  • calcium polysulfide (lime-sulfur, Sulforix and other brands)-Consult label for rate and use directions. Apply dormant spray in spring shortly after budbreak. Follow with one of the following delayed-dormant sprays. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Delayed-dormant spray (select one)

The following products, rates, and times of application are labeled for disease control but have provided redberry mite control also. Apply in spring after new floricane lateral growth is 2 to 6 inches long.

  • calcium polysulfide (lime-sulfur, Sulforix, and other brands)-Consult label for rate and use directions. Apply at least 200 gal/a spray solution. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • superior-type oil-This application may be repeated in the fall. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • wettable sulfur (several brands)-Consult label for rate.