Peanut Update – Spider Mites

The following update was prepared by Clemson Peanut Specialist Dan Anco.

With all the hot and dry weather we’ve been having, fungal diseases have been pretty slow to show much. Even so, white mold has been spotted, and late leaf spot is beginning to show up in the lower canopy on untreated plants at the station. Earlier today, Charles Davis mentioned how he visited a field that was infested with spider mites. We often talk about how the use of certain products like pyrethroids or Lorsban increases our risk of flaring spider mites by killing off the beneficials that normally eat the mites. Barbara Shew from NC also talks about how repeated chlorothalonil applications can increase risk of mites in dry years. However, as was the case with this field, sometimes the hot and dry weather is all that is needed to start a serious mite problem.

spdermites peanut.jpg

Look for spider mites on the undersides of leaves and yellow injury on the tops of leaves.

As many of you know, mites can be a bear to control, and we are still limited to the same products sharing one mode of action we’ve had before (2 pt/A Comite 6.5 EC, 2.25 pt/A Comite II, and 3-5 lb/A Omite 30WS; two applications spaced 5-7 days apart).

mites peanuts.jpg

Early spider mite damage can go unnoticed or be mistaken for drought stress. (Photo from 

This is a time when frequent scouting is our friend. The earlier we can catch problems like spider mites, the more time and leverage we have to keep things going as smoothly as possible. This is certainly a busy time of year, and it can often be difficult to get a good look at all our fields on a routine basis. While this doesn’t make things any easier, it also doesn’t take long for a pest like mites to go from unnoticed to unmistakable. Mites can sometimes first be found along the field edges or near any paths or dusty dirt roads.

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