Simply stated, mites love California almonds, and controlling these eight-legged arthropods takes an integrated crop management strategy. When evaluating ways to control this pest in the golden state, growers need to evaluate their own cultural practices such as irrigation management, integrated pest management (using products that don’t disrupt beneficial insects) and fertilizer inputs.
Early signs of mites include leaf surface discoloration which makes the leaf look less vibrant and weak. The lower leaf surface usually shows signs of spotting or webbing. Looking for webbing on the tree trunk, the base of the trunk and tree limbs are also important during scouting. Generally, symptoms are present on leaves earlier in the year and are more prominent on tree trunks and limbs later in the season.
Cultural practices naturally vary throughout the valley. Growers in Kern County will spray significantly earlier than growers in the Fresno County area or growers up in Northern California. For many growers, mite control starts early in the season through the end of May with preventative applications of miticides like AbbA ULTRA® miticide/insecticide. AbbA ULTRA® offers a long-lasting residual control against a wide spectrum of mites, including two-spotted spider mites, Pacific spider mites, strawberry spider mites and European red mites.
Once the leaf is hardened off, the ability for the leaf to retain the miticide treatment will decrease. Including a narrow range horticultural oil in the spray mix will improve penetration and increase residual effect. Growers applying AbbA ULTRA® in late April to early May can also tank-mix other products to control insects such as worms or leaf-footed bugs.
Connect with an AMVAC representative for more information about controlling mites in your orchard.
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