Broad mites are not a new pest in Michigan, but 2010 was the first year many growers saw plant symptoms. Pests adapted to warmer climates can be present in Michigan but it takes the right conditions to allow them to become a problem. Such was the case with broad mites in 2010. The warmer than usual summer temperatures, especially at night, allowed broad mite populations to increase to the point that they became a visible problem.
Low populations often go undetected since adults are 0.2mm long – smaller than a period (.) and less than half the size of a two-spotted spider mite. In peppers, the first thing noticed in high populations are twisted, curled leaves and deformed fruit (Figure 1). Symptoms appear similar to virus infection or nutrient deficiencies. Broad mites are not easily seen so most growers think they are dealing with a virus problem.
Figure 1. Pepper plants showing twisted leaves and deformed fruit (left) and affected fruit (right).
May 19, 2017 | Phil Kaatz | Bridging the Experience Gap is an educational program for young professionals involved in agriculture who want to sharpen their skills and better understand production systems.
March 29, 2017 | Sarah Scott | Michigan has released its draft plan to protect managed pollinators from pesticide threats. This joint effort is designed to provide clear actions that can be taken to reduce pesticide exposure to bees.
January 19, 2017 | George Silva | Aerial imaging using drones versus small aircraft and satellite imagery for natural and agricultural resource monitoring and management will be highlighted at this event.