WSU Extension

Hortsense

Peach : European red mite
(revision date: 2/14/2019)


Biology
Several species of spider mites may be found on peaches, including the European red mite, the twospotted spider mite, and the McDaniel spider mite. They may be various colors including yellow, greenish, brown, or red. All species feed on the leaves (typically on the underside), causing a whitish, yellow, or brown stippling. More severe damage results in leaves taking on a bronzed appearance. Heavy infestations may cause leaf drop. Spider mite feeding is usually accompanied by webbing on leaves and between leaves and twigs. The European red mite typically produces smaller amounts of webbing than other species. Spider mite infestations are worse in hot, dry, dusty conditions.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Provide proper culture for trees. Healthy plants are more tolerant of damage, while drought-stressed plants are more susceptible.
  • Predatory mites and insects such as ladybird beetles and green lacewings aid in control of mite populations. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficials.
  • Hose mites from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage spider mite reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Oils should be applied in early spring just prior to bud swell. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 4-80
  • R-T-U Year-Round Spray Oil
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 6218-78
  • Safer Brand Garden Defense Multi-Purpose Spray Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil  |  EPA reg no: 70051-2-42697
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: European red mite
Photo by: Unknown