How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Citrus

Sixspotted Mite

Scientific Name: Eotetranychus sexmaculatus

(Reviewed 2/17, updated 2/17)

In this Guideline:


Description of the Pest

Sixspotted mite is a minor pest on citrus in some coastal growing areas. It is somewhat smaller than the twospotted mite, lemon yellow, and usually has three pairs of black spots. Mite numbers tend to be highest in spring and early summer when temperatures are cool and a generation takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

Damage

Sixspotted mites feed along the midrib or larger veins on the underside of citrus leaves. They form small colonies and cover themselves with protective webbing. A depression develops where a colony has settled and becomes apparent as a slight bulge on the upper leaf surface. The infested area may turn pale to yellow, and the leaves often become distorted. Leaf drop may occur with few mites present.

Management

The need to control spider mites is based on temperature and humidity conditions, spider mite numbers, tree vigor, and time of the year. Sixspotted mites are generally kept under control by predaceous mites and sixspotted thrips. In areas protected from Santa Ana winds, this mite may occasionally require an insecticide application.

Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
(Example trade name) (type of coverage)** (hours) (days)
Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
Bee precaution pesticide ratings
The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
 
A. WETTABLE SULFUR# Label rates (OC or IC) 24 0
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites and citrus thrips); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE OF ACTION: unknown
  COMMENTS: For use on all varieties. Apply from Oct. through May when monitoring indicates a need. Do not apply more than 6 lb per 100 gal water. Do not apply during or preceding high temperatures. Do not apply sulfur within 2 months of a previous oil spray, and do not apply oil 60 to 90 days after a sulfur application. Not recommended for use in the San Joaquin Valley.
 
B. NARROW RANGE OIL (92% UR)
  (415, 440) 1.2–1.4% (OC or IC) See label When dry
  . . . or . . .
  NARROW RANGE OIL (99% UR)
  (415, 435, 440, 455) 1.2–1.4% (OC or IC) See label When dry
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: broad (unprotected stages of insects and mites); Natural enemies: most
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: short; Natural enemies: short
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Use highest rate for July or August applications. Narrow range 440 (or higher) spray oil is preferable in the Central Valley during warmer months because of greater persistence, but risk of phytotoxicity increases unless using products with 99% unsulfonated residues (UR). Low-volume may be preferable. Caution: Serious hazards are associated with oil sprays to green lemons because of phytotoxicity after sweating; check label for preharvest interval.
  . . . or . . .
  NARROW RANGE OIL (92 or 99% UR)
  (415) 6–20 gal/acre (LV) See label When dry
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (citrus red mite) Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: short; Natural enemies: short
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Use highest rate for July or August applications. Low-volume may be preferable. Caution: Serious hazards are associated with oil sprays to green lemons because of phytotoxicity after sweating; check label for preharvest interval.
 
C. ACEQUINOCYL
  (Kanemite 15SC) 21–31 oz/acre (OC or IC) 12 7
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 20B
  COMMENTS: For use on oranges, grapefruit, and lemons only. Apply by ground using 100 to 250 gal water/acre. Do not use less than 100 gal water/acre. Do not apply more than 62 oz/acre per season. Allow a minimum of 21 days between applications.
 
D. HEXYTHIAZOX
  (Onager) 12–24 oz/acre (OC or IC) 12 28
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: short to intermediate
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 10A
  COMMENTS: Do not apply more than once per year.
 
E. PYRIDABEN
  (Nexter) Label rates (OC or IC) 12 7
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 21A
  COMMENTS: When this pesticide was used during April and May in the San Joaquin Valley and thrips were abundant, there was an increase in scarring damage caused by thrips. Do not apply more than twice per year. Highly toxic to bees; do not spray directly or allow to drift onto blooming crops or weeds where bees are foraging.
 
F. SPIRODICLOFEN
  (Envidor 2SC) See comments 12 7
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 23
  COMMENTS: Make no more than one application per crop season. Application rate is 12 to 20 fl oz/acre (OC or IC) when horticultural spray oil is not used, and 18 to 20 fl oz/acre (OC or IC) when it is.
 
G. FENBUTATIN OXIDE*
  (Vendex 50WP) 0.24–0.5 lb/100 gal (OC or IC) 48 7
    . . . or . . .    
    2–4 lb/acre (LV)    
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: short; Natural enemies: short
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 12B
  COMMENTS: For use on all varieties. This pesticide does not work well in cool weather and requires higher rates during these periods. Do not apply more than 1,600 gal dilute spray/acre or use more than 4 lb/acre per season.
 
** LV - Low-volume uses 20 to 100 gal water/acre.
  OC - Outside coverage uses 100 to 250 gal water/acre.
  IC - Intermediate coverage uses 250 to 600 gal/acre.
Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action group numbers (un = unknown or uncertain mode of action) are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441

Insects, Mites, and Snails

E. E. Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove Research and Extension Center, Exeter and Entomology, UC Riverside
J. G. Morse, Entomology, UC Riverside
D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County and UC IPM Program
B. A. Faber, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties

Acknowledgments for contributions to Insect, Mite, and Snails:
J. Barcinas, E.S.I., Corona, CA
R. Dunn, Badger Farming Co., Exeter, CA
J. Gorden, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
C. E. Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
D. Machlitt, Consulting Entomology Services, Moorpark, CA
C. Musgrove, retired entomologist, Riverside, CA
K. Olsen, S & J Ranch, Pinedale, CA
N. V. O'Connell, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
P. A. Phillips, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
T. Roberts, E.S.I., Corona, CA
T. Shea, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County
J. Stewart, Pest Management Associates, Exeter, CA
P. Washburn, Washburn & Sons Citrus Pest Control, Riverside, CA

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