You Mite Say I’m Late on This

August 6, 2020 | By: Gary Snyder


I dropped the ball on mite control.  I’ve been updating customers on issues affecting trees and shrubs in southwest and central Ohio. So far I’ve addressed disease and insects that are major problems when maintaining a landscape. And other than a sentence at the end of the last article, I dropped the ball on a big issue: mites. 

Mites are not insects. They are actually more closely related to the spider family. Both have eight legs, can sometimes produce a very fine webbing, and in the mite’s case, are extremely tiny. But while they are extremely tiny, they can terrorize landscape plantings and the people responsible for the care of said plants.

We generally refer to the mite population in 2 groups, cool-season, and warm-season mites. If you missed the cool-season mites this spring, just wait, they’ll be back for an encore. But let’s focus on the warm season mites.

The Twospotted Spider Mite, European Red Mite, Oak, and Maple Spider Mites all can wreak havoc on the landscapes you are maintaining. These guys have the ability to reproduce at an alarming rate. The damage is caused by them sucking on leaf tissue, actually going cell by cell and draining each cell of its contents. Leaves will have a stippled appearance with very small yellow or white marks on it. The overall leaf appearance will be yellowed. If it goes to the light brown coloration, leaf drop should be expected. 

Green Velvet Can Help You Solve the Problem of Mite Control

So how do we fix this? Green Velvet recommends the use of Horticultural Oils in the summer months offer good control. Just remember mites are tiny and coverage is critical in control.  Hort Oils need to be sprayed on the mite. Schedule a delivery with your salesperson.

There are options when it comes to chemical control:

  1. Some of the general insecticides (Bifenthrin & D-Fense) can be used, just remember that they only control the adult, so because the mite population reproduces at such a fast rate, (some as fast as 10 – 14 days!) chances of good control isn’t there.
  2. A better option is a residual insecticide (Cyonara & Onyx) which again only controls the adults, but lasts longer to have better control.
  3. The best option is to use a true miticide.

Get With the Program

Green Velvet offers a great selection of miticides and ovicides to control all stages of mite life, with the ovicides taking out the eggs too. The best program is to get into a rotation of different chemistry miticides so that there is less chance for them to develop resistance to one specific chemistry. This can also help you control different stages of the mite cycle when switching the chemistry round to round.

After summer, the cool season mites are just around the corner. Make sure you have plenty of miticides and ovicides on hand to defend your ornamentals throughout the growing season.

Give your nearest Green Velvet location a call today.