South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline: Mite Pressure Update

Web AdminFlorida, Pest Management, Pests

Mite pressure is low but increasing in southern Florida, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

Mite Pressure
Graphic courtesy of South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.

Southern red mites were reported in blueberries in central Florida. Broad mites were reported in a few pepper fields across Southwest Florida.

Broad mite infestation increased to low levels in pepper fields along the east coast. In eggplants, two spotted spider mites were reportedly low but increasing in numbers.

Broad mites can be devastating to infected tissue. Feeding can distort plant tissue. This leads leaves to become hardened, thickened and narrow. The blooms abort and plant growth is stunted amid heavy pressure.

Mites are usually observed on the newest leaves and small fruit. Malformed terminal buds and stunted growth is often a sign that broad mites are present.

Broad mites can use insect hosts like bees and whiteflies to move from plant to plant.

Several products like AgriMek and Oberon are labeled for control of the pest. Sulfur, insecticidal oils or soaps may be just as effective and less toxic to the environment. Frequent repeated sprays may be needed to obtain control.

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