Apricot-Eriophyid mite

Primarily the peach silver mite (Aculus cornutus)

Pest description and crop damage Translucent to yellow, teardrop-shaped mites that can be seen easier with the aid of a 10X hand lens. Mites feed on the surface of leaves. Feeding may cause a silvery appearance on the foliage and may lead to premature leaf drop.

Biology and life history These mites overwinter as diapausing females in buds immediately under the bud scales, or in cracks along the bark. As buds expand in the spring, females leave their overwintering sites, begin feeding, and then after a few days, lay eggs. In the spring, eggs may take two weeks to hatch, but by midsummer they may hatch in as little as 3 to 4 days. There are several generations per year. As the foliage deteriorates in late summer, diapausing females are produced.

Pest monitoring Observe the leaves for signs of mite feeding and use a hand lens to check for the mites particularly in fruit trees with a history of eriophyid mite infestations. Growing populations of eriophyid mites can be determined by successive sampling during the dormant, delayed-dormant period or early spring.

Management-biological control

Eriophyid mites serve as a significant food source for predatory mites, so some damage from this eriophyid mite may be tolerated. Predatory mites almost always keep both eriophyid and spider mites under control when broad-spectrum insecticide applications are avoided. Hot, dry weather and the probable hardening off of leaves will reduce eriophyid mite numbers.

Management-chemical control

These applications target active and growing populations of eriophyid mites before they cause leaf bronzing or silvering. Do not apply these products after the damage has been done.

Management-chemical control: HOME USE

Dormant-season spray

Apply sprays using enough water to cover the tree thoroughly including small limbs. Apply during the dormant, delayed-dormant period.

  • horticultural mineral oil-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Growing-season spray

  • kaolin-Suppression .When sprayed on leaves, trunks, and fruit, kaolin acts as a repellant to some insects. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE

Delayed-dormant spray

  • horticultural mineral oil (rates vary; check product label)-REI varies; check product label. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.

Growing-season spray

  • pyridaben (Nexter) at 4.5 to 10.6 oz/a. PHI 300 days. REI 12 hr. Treat after fruit harvest.
  • spirodiclofen (Envidor 2SC) at 16 to 18 fl oz/a. PHI 7 days. REI 12 hr. Limited to one application per year.