Peach Silver Mite
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.