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Peach Silver Mite

Peach silver mite damage

Hosts:  nectarine, peach


Biology:
  Worm-shaped microscopic mites called eriophyid mites; related to blister and rust mites.  They overwinter as females in buds, just beneath the outer scales; they crawl to new leaves after budbreak.


Symptoms/Damage:
  Heavy feeding causes “silvering” of leaves, reduced fruit size, and premature fruit drop.


Monitoring:
  Because these mites are so small, they are difficult to see with a hand lens, which makes monitoring difficult.  Starting in mid summer, check the leaves for the silvering symptom.


Treatment Threshold:
  No threshold determined.


Degree Day Model:
  None


Management Considerations:
  Moderate populations are a good food source for predatory mites, especially early in the season. Peach cultivars vary in susceptibility to the mite: ‘Red Haven’ is a poor host while ‘Elberta’ is a good host.