Miticides serve one main purpose: keeping crops safe from pests. However, if your miticide is also wiping out beneficial insects and predators, it may only be exacerbating the mite problem in the long run.
Beneficials consist of both insects that help crops thrive (honeybees, for instance) and predators that control the mite population (for example, predator mites and six-spotted thrips). Beneficials are key players in promoting healthy crops and higher yields, so ensuring their survival during miticide applications is necessary.
The miticide dilemma
When it comes to controlling pests, growers are in a tough spot. If there aren’t enough predators to take care of harmful mites, broad-spectrum miticides are often the first resort. However, many of these miticides will kill off both harmful and beneficial mites — and with beneficials out of the way, the harmful mites may come back stronger than ever.
That’s why many growers are turning to miticides that are soft on beneficials — in other words, they target pest mites only, leaving the predatory mites and helpful insects unharmed. With this kind of focused attack, the population of pests is knocked down and predator populations may take over in keeping the mites under control. Not only does this serve as a kind of “checks and balances” situation for the mites, it also means fewer miticide applications throughout the growing season — and thus less likelihood of resistance.
Soft on beneficials, tough on pests
Products such as VIGILANT®, ACRAMITE®, KANEMITE® and OMITE® Miticides offer protection designed specifically to ward off harmful mites. Gentle towards beneficial insects and predatory mites, these miticides work together with the vineyard’s natural ecosystem to keep grape leaves pest-free.
VIGILANT and ACRAMITE Miticides provide quick knockdown and long residual protection against spider mites at all life stages. Both VIGILANT and ACRAMITE can be applied at the first sign of pests with no need to wait until they reach threshold levels.
KANEMITE Miticide is a great option to control two-spotted spider mites and Pacific spider mites towards the end of the grape-growing season, as it has a 7-day pre-harvest interval (PHI). It delivers rapid knockdown and long-lasting control. Its unique active ingredient has no known cross-resistance, making it an ideal choice for managing mite resistance all season long.
OMITE Miticide is another option toward the end of the season as it features three routes of entry into the spider mites — contact, residual and inhalation. The product features a unique active ingredient with fuming action that penetrates the webbing and nooks and crannies where spider mites hide. It's rainfast after drying, providing long residual control throughout the season.
No matter how growers choose to control spider mite populations, proactivity is key. Grower action now will help prevent damage and protect yields this year and reduce the number of overwintering female spider mites which could damage crops next season.
For a complete line of grape protection and a staff dedicated to keeping your vineyard running strong, contact your retailer or UPL sales representative for additional information, or visit www.arysta-na.com.