Pest Of The Month: Broad Mite

Pest Of The Month: Broad Mite

Identification

The broad mite pest attacks terminal leaves and flower buds and causes them to become malformed. Broad mite feeding distorts plant tissue, causing leaves to become hardened, thickened, and narrow, giving them a “strappy” appearance. The blooms abort and plant growth is stunted when heavy pressure is present. Fruits may develop a russeted appearance.

Crops Affected
The broad mite can be a major problem on pepper in Florida.
This species has a worldwide distribution and can affect a
large number of hosts, including vegetables such as basil,
eggplant, green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes, as well as
a variety of fruits and ornamental plants.

Mites are usually seen on the newest leaves and small fruit. Leaves turn downward and turn coppery or purplish. Internodes shorten and the lateral buds break more than normal.

Malformed terminal buds and stunted growth often is a telltale sign that broad mites are present. Broad mites are extremely tiny and are difficult to see without a 10X or stronger hand lens. The mites may crowd into crevices and buds. Mites prefer the shaded side of fruit and the underside of leaves, which usually faces the plant, so scouts must carefully inspect affected plants.

Survival And Spread

The broad mite has four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Adult females lay about five eggs per day over an eight- to 13-day period and then die. Adult males may live five to nine days.

The eggs are about 0.08 mm long and are colorless, translucent, and elliptical in shape. Eggs hatch in two or three days and the larvae emerge to feed. Larvae are slow moving and do not disperse far.

After two or three days, the larvae develop into a quiescent larval stage. Quiescent female larvae become attractive to the males, which pick them up and carry them to the new foliage.

Female mites are about 0.2 mm long and oval in outline. Their bodies are swollen in profile and a light yellow to amber or green in color. Males are smaller and faster moving than the female.

Males and females are very active, but the males apparently account for much of the dispersal of a broad mite population in their frenzy to carry the quiescent female larvae to new leaves. When females emerge from the quiescent stage, males immediately mate with them
Broad mites also are known to use insect hosts, including bees and whiteflies, to move from plant to plant.

Management

While a number of insecticides are labeled for control of this pest, sulfur, insecticidal oils, or soaps might be just as effective and less toxic to the environment. Due to short life cycles, frequent repeated sprays may be necessary to obtain control.

Biological control agents including several species of predatory mites have been used successfully to control broad mites in the field and in greenhouse situations.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

CitrusHarness The Marketing Power Of Video
September 1, 2014
Multimedia platform is an effective and inexpensive marketing tool for you to attract new customers and keep existing ones loyal to your brand. Read More
Citrus Achievement AwardDespite Industry Challenges, Florida Citrus Leader Has …
September 1, 2014
2014 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Mike Sparks feels confident in crop sector's ability to regain strength. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoFood Safety Modernization Act Is On The Plate
September 1, 2014
Florida Ag Expo agenda to serve up important features of looming regulations. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Put Weeds Out To Pasture
September 1, 2014
No matter where they are, plants out of place can be problematic. Read More
TomatoesProduction Reaches An All-Time High For Processing Toma…
August 29, 2014
A record high is predicted for the 2014 processing tomato crop. Read More
CitrusFlorida Department Of Citrus Knocks NPR Piece Over Juic…
August 28, 2014
Agency goes to bat for the industry regarding statement slighting OJ's health benefits. Read More
Disease ControlLate Blight Update Reveals Heightened Activity
August 28, 2014
While several states in the Northeast have confirmed the presence of late blight, the disease has not been reported in North Dakota or Minnesota. Read More
CitrusFlorida Energy Firm Charged Up About Citrus Biomass Pot…
August 28, 2014
Machine called a game-changer when it comes to a cost-effective, efficient way for tree removal and re-purposing. Read More
EquipmentNew Tractors Improve Maneuverability And Operator Contr…
August 28, 2014
The Magnum Rowtrac tractors from Case IH meet growers’ cropping needs through a wide variety of row spacing and belt options.   Read More
NutsCalifornia County Passes Ordinance To Protect Walnut Gr…
August 27, 2014
Verification of ownership needed to complete sales of valuable nuts. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Hit By Russian Import Limits
August 27, 2014
Growers reflect on changes to export market in light of produce ban. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California…
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More
CitrusNational Scientific Summit On Herbicide Resistant Weeds…
August 27, 2014
Topics to be covered include the economics of proactively managing herbicide resistance, education and outreach efforts, and incentives and regulatory initiatives. Read More
FruitsFlorida Organic Group Dedicated To Serving Growers, Com…
August 27, 2014
Education and development programs are plentiful for interested producers. Read More
VegetablesExperimental Herbicide Technology Blasts Weeds In Rows
August 27, 2014
The technology uses an air compressor to spray corncob grit on both sides of a crop, killing young weeds. Read More
Disease ControlFungal Disease Outbreak Hits Pacific Northwest Vegetabl…
August 27, 2014
An outbreak of blackleg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot can be significant problems in several vegetable crops.   Read More
CitrusClean Water Conundrum: Ditch The Rule Or Ditch The Myth…
August 26, 2014
Regulation inundation causing a rising tide of confusion for farmers. Read More
BerriesMichigan State University Extension Offers Tips To Prev…
August 26, 2014
Humidity, rainy periods conducive to disease development. Read More