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A grower’s guide to navigating miticides

June 24, 2020

3 Min Read
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Grape growers and PCAs face many pests in their vineyards throughout the season, yet many rank mites as the biggest threat among the bunch. The summer heat and dry weather can pair for a dangerous mite flare-up in grape crops.

Spider mites reproduce rapidly in hot weather and commonly become numerous in June through September. If weather and food supplies are favorable, a generation can be produced in less than a week. The pests prefer hot, dusty conditions and are usually first found on crops near dusty roadways.

Mites are tiny in size, which makes them nearly impossible to detect with the naked eye. Chances are you’ll notice plant damage, such as stippled or yellow-spotted leaves, before you spot the mites themselves. University of California IPM recommends checking the undersides of grape leaves with a hand lens to identify mites, their eggs and webbing.

Once a mite population explodes, yields can be reduced by 20 percent or more. In this period of high alert, determining the right program to control undesirable mites is very important. The use of the right chemistry at the right time will attack the pests while maintaining beneficial insect populations. Protection of predator mites and other helpful insects prevents secondary pest outbreaks or spider mite flares.

Check these boxes

There are several standards to consider when choosing a miticide. Make sure to check these boxes when making your selection:

  • Effective on multiple species

  • Controls mites at all life stages, from eggs to adult

  • Easy on beneficial insects

  • Excellent crop safety

  • Short re-entry and pre-harvest intervals

  • Unique class of chemistry

  • Easy to use

Take advantage of beneficials

Think about steps to maintain beneficial populations and achieve good spray coverage with miticide applications when pest populations reach the treatment threshold level. A good predictor for mite infestations is looking at what insecticides you’re using early in the season to control other insects. For example, if you’re treating for grape vine mealybug, look at how those treatments are affecting the predator mites, sixspotted thrips and other predators of spider mites.

Pay special attention to applying selective miticides to maintain populations of beneficial insects and predator mites, which will help control spider mites later in the season. For miticide applications, maintaining good IPM practices and the populations of beneficials is important.

Treatments to fight the mites

Miticides from UPL provide the flexibility that grape growers and PCAs need: quick knockdown, long-lasting control and selectivity on beneficial insects and predator mites, all for excellent IPM compatibility. 

VIGILANT® Miticide (IRAC 20D) and ACRAMITE® Miticide (IRAC 20D) provide outstanding protection from spider mites at all stages. Both miticides have a short 14-day pre-harvest interval for grapes and a reputation for going easy on predator mites and beneficial insects. For most programs, ACRAMITE and VIGILANT can be used throughout the season whenever spider mites are present and populations begin to build, offering a solution that seamlessly fits within the framework of your integrated pest management regimen.

KANEMITE® Miticide (IRAC 20B) offers exceptional control, rapid knockdown and long-lasting residual activity on two-spotted spider, Willamette spider mite and Pacific mites while going easy on predator mites and beneficials. Additionally, its unique active ingredient, acequinocyl, makes KANEMITE an ideal member of your resistance management program.

OMITE® Miticide (IRAC 12C) offers swift relief from mites using a unique active ingredient and fuming action. It provides fast and powerful knockdown of a wide range of mites at all life stages while allowing for great coverage everywhere these pests like to hide. OMITE is also rainfast for lasting control and is an excellent rescue treatment throughout the year and especially toward the end of the season.

UPL offers advanced products and customized solutions to meet the needs of each grape grower. For a complete line of reliable protection and a staff dedicated to keeping your vineyard going strong, contact your local retailer or visit www.upl-ltd.com/us.

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Spider Mites
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