Spider Mites Showing up in Small Cotton in MS

Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist and Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist June 3, 2016 08:10

Spider Mites Showing up in Small Cotton in MS

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Spider mites have been becoming more widespread over the last two weeks.  Currently we have quite a few acres requiring treatment for spider mites and several that have already received an application.  The hot dry weather we have been dealing with for the last couple weeks is making the problem worse, and the numerous thrips applications this year has further led to the increased problems with spider mites by removing beneficial insects early.  Although some areas caught a rain over the last few days or so there are still many areas in the state that are dry. Mite populations can explode quickly during these conditions.  When treating early season mites, none of the miticides available are systemic, so all new growth is unprotected.  This may lead to multiple applications.

Suggestions for treating mites on small cotton:

  1. Don’t wait until you have lots of symptomology occurring.  If you are finding scattered mites across the field or moving in from field borders treat before symptomology becomes widespread.
  2. Use high water volumes and correct nozzles.  Coverage is essential when treating mites.  Use hollow cone nozzles with high PSI or Flat Fan tips.  Do not treat mites with low drift tips.
  3. All of the miticides in the table below have proven to be effective in controlling mites.  However, in small cotton that will likely require additional treatments I would start cheap.  There are huge price differences in miticides, and given that new growth is unprotected, whether the product cost $6.00 or $25.00 it will still likely require another treatment if more mites move into the field and colonize unprotected tissue.  As cotton begins to slow growth into bloom, rotate in other products.
  4. Adjust rate depending on pressure. If mites are heavy use higher rates.
  5. Don’t create your own problem.  Acephate and pyrethroids are notorious for flaring mites. If mites are in the field and you apply one of these compounds you will likely make them worse quick.
  6. Rain will help reduce mite numbers but will not make them go away.  It will simply buy you a little time.
  7. READ Labels. The recommendations below may be not be exact rates on section label. In many instances we do not recommend rates as low as advertised on the label based on experience and resistance levels in Mississippi. Please read the labels for additional information.

2016 mite table

 

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Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist and Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist June 3, 2016 08:10
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