How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
In this Guideline:
These two spider mites are very similar looking as adults, have
similar life histories, and are controlled in the same manner. Overwintering
female mites are red or orange and are found under rough bark, in ground
litter, and on winter weeds. During the season they range from yellow to green
to black depending on age and host food. Both have dark spots. Adult males do
not overwinter and are smaller than females. Eggs are
laid on the foliage. Early in the season mites are found in the lower to
central areas of the tree. The mites reproduce rapidly during warm weather
between June and September. Under favorable conditions, mites develop within 7
days, with 8 to 10 generations per season.
Mites are rarely a problem in apricots. In general, mite feeding
causes leaf stippling and leaves can turn yellow and drop off, but apricot
trees don't appear to suffer economic damage from mites.
In many cases biological control keeps spider mites under control.
(Miticides may be necessary in some orchards in summer, but only when mite
populations reach damaging levels, which may occur if pesticides have been used
that disrupt natural enemies.)
Several species play a large role in mite control, including the
predatory mite (Galendromus [=Metaseiulus] occidentalis), the sixspotted thrips,
the spider mite
the brown lacewing,
and the green lacewing.
The western predatory mite is the most reliable mite predator. It is the same
size as spider mites, but lacks spots and ranges in color from cream to amber
red. This predator maintains good control unless the proportion of leaves with
spider mites is higher than the proportion of leaves with predatory mites.
Reduce dusty conditions in orchards by oiling or watering
roadways and maintaining a groundcover. Prevent water stress, as this condition
results in higher mite densities and intensified damage.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Cultural and biological control and certain oil sprays are
acceptable for use on organically grown apricots.
Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
If treatment is needed early in the season and predators are
present, you can use below-label rates of a miticide to reduce the pest
population and help preserve predators. Treatments are not needed after the
first of September, when mite populations decline naturally.
||Amount to Use**
|The following materials are listed in order of usefulness in an IPM program, taking into account efficacy and impact on natural
enemies and honey bees. When choosing a pesticide, also consider information relating to environmental
impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
|Caution: Never apply sulfur to apricot trees.
||MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 10A
||COMMENTS: This material is more effective in the early part of
the year; apply after sampling indicates pest mites are increasing but before
significant damage or webbing is present. Kills eggs and young larval stages.
Good coverage is a must; use a minimum of 50 gal water/acre for concentrate
and a maximum of 400 gal water/acre for dilute. To delay development of resistance, use only once/season.
||(Acramite) 50 WS
||MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 25
||COMMENTS: Do not apply more than once per season.
||NARROW RANGE OIL#
||MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
||COMMENTS: Be sure that trees are well watered before treating.
Some of the new lower-chilling varieties, especially Poppycot, can be highly susceptible to oil damage. Use extreme care
when applying oil to these varieties. Check with certifier to determine which products are organically acceptable.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Apricot
UC ANR Publication 3433
Insects and Mites
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
K. R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
K. A. Kelley, UC Cooperative Extension, Stanislaus County
J. L. Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County
Top of page