How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Citrus

Texas Citrus Mite

Scientific Name: Eutetranychus banksi

(Reviewed 2/17, updated 2/17)

In this Guideline:


Description of the Pest

Texas citrus mite is a sporadic pest of citrus in the inland valleys of California. Adult mites are tan-to-brownish green with dark green to black spots on the upper side of the body. Males are more slender than females and have much longer legs. Females have a more round-to-oval shape and are somewhat flatter than citrus red or Yuma spider mite. All stages of mites, including eggs, tend to be located along the midrib and lateral veins. Eggs are somewhat flat and disklike, are not a uniform color, and range from yellow when laid to a reddish brown before hatching.

Numbers of this mite decrease in summer but increase from September through December. When weather becomes cold and wet, which usually equates to the first overnight period of dense Valley fog, numbers decrease again. In the San Joaquin Valley, low numbers of Texas citrus mite can sometimes be found in spring, especially following insecticides such as formetanate hydrochloride (Carzol) that disrupt biological control.

Damage

Texas citrus mite feeds primarily on leaves and can cause significant stippling and leaf drop; significant leaf drop can lead to fruit drop. In the San Joaquin Valley damage is usually limited to early harvested navels where a combination of warm temperatures in fall and deficit irrigation (used to induce increases in sugar levels) allow mites to thrive. Damage often begins in the tops of trees and progresses downward as harvest approaches. Leaf drop from Texas citrus mite is unique because the leaf blade falls to the ground while the petiole remains in the tree. Leaf drop can result in sunburning of fruit, dropped fruit, and reduced photosynthesis.

Management

In the San Joaquin Valley watch for Texas citrus mite in fall on early harvested navels or in spring following applications of broad-spectrum insecticides. Apply a pesticide if small amounts of defoliation begin to occur in the outer canopy at the top of trees and cold, wet weather is not anticipated for a period of weeks. Miticides are very effective against Texas citrus mite.

Biological Control

Texas citrus mite is naturally controlled by predators of other mites such as the sixspotted thrips (Scolothrips sexmaculatus), the spider mite destroyer (Stethorus picipes), minute pirate bugs (Orius spp.) and a predatory mite, (Euseius tularensis).

Cultural Control

Adequate irrigation and dust control will reduce the damage caused by Texas citrus mite.

Organically Acceptable Methods

Use cultural and biological controls and certain petroleum oil sprays on organically managed citrus.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions

In the San Joaquin Valley, check for Texas citrus mite during spring if broad-spectrum insecticides such as formetanate hydrochloride (Carzol) have been used. Apply a pesticide if significant amounts of leaf drop occur.

In fall look for Texas citrus mite from September through December on trees that bear early harvested fruit, especially navels. Apply a pesticide if leaves in the outer canopy at the tops of trees begin to defoliate, and cold weather is not anticipated for a period of several weeks. Pesticides are not needed if defoliation is limited to the leaves on the extremities of the fall flush that will naturally freeze or be pruned off during winter.

No official treatment thresholds exist. Texas citrus mite is highly susceptible to all miticides labeled for control of citrus red mite and can be controlled with relatively low volumes of water because of to its tendency to be located on newer leaves in the outer tree canopy.

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. NARROW RANGE OIL (92%UR)
  (415, 440) 1.2–1.4% (OC) See label When dry
  . . . or . . .
  NARROW RANGE OIL (99% UR)
  (415, 435, 440, 455) 1.2–1.4% (OC) 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.
 
B. ACEQUINOCYL
  (Kanemite 15SC) 21–31 oz/acre (OC) 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.
 
C. PYRIDABEN
  (Nexter) Label rate (OC) 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.
 
D. FENPYROXIMATE
  (Fujimite 5EC) 4 pt (OC or IC) 12 14
  RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
  PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
  MODE-OF-ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 21A
  COMMENTS: Do not make more than two applications per season and allow 14 days between applications. Use allowed under a Supplemental Label.
 
E. WETTABLE SULFUR# Label rates (OC) 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 treatment. Not recommended for use in the San Joaquin Valley.
 
F. FENBUTATIN OXIDE*
  (Vendex 50WP) 0.24–0.5 lb/100 gal (OC) 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.
IC – Intermediate coverage uses 250 to 600 gal water/acre.
  OC - Outside coverage uses 100 to 250 gal water/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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