Mites Levels Remain Low Across South Florida

Web Admin Pests

Mite damage on peppers in this file photo.

Mites levels are still low in some fields across southern Florida, though some species are increasing in numbers, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

Broad mites are increasing in Southwest Florida but still remain at low population levels Spider mites were reported to be low in multiple crops.

Spider mite populations are growing in younger corn in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Broad mites are persistent on the east coast and are not responding favorably to control measures.

Mites are present in corn and eggplant in Homestead, Florida, while broad mites are present in pepper.

Broad mite feeding can distort plant tissue, which causes the leaves to harden, thicken and become narrow. The blooms abort and plant growth is stunted when heavy pressure is observed.

Mites are usually seen on the newest leaves and small fruit.

Broad mites use insect hosts, including bees and whiteflies, to move from plant to plant.
 
Several products such as AgriMek and Oberon are labeled for control of this pest. Sulfur, insecticidal oils or soaps may be just as effective and less toxic to the environment. Frequent repeated sprays may be necessary to obtain control, due to short life cycles.

Consult UF/IFAS recommendations in the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida for currently labeled products for control of broad mites in Florida.