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Old 01-05-2016, 01:19 PM
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Brevipalpus mites

Brevipalpus mites, also know as flat or false spider mites, are an increasing concern for orchids. In high numbers they can cause significant damage, but itís their vectoring of viruses that is a greater concern. In December, high populations were found on Dendrobium spp. and other orchids at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Brevipalpus mites are favored by low light conditions and their small size, about half that of most spider mites, makes it easy for them to spread through crop handling and greenhouse air currents. Adult females average only about ľ of a millimeter which is about 0.02 inches. In orchids, they spread orchid fleck virus (OFV) which causes a variety of symptoms similar to odontoglossum ring spot virus (ORSV) Ė the most damaging orchid virus. Many times we have tested plants suspecting ORSV, but results have been negative. Itís likely that they were infected with OFV. Going forward we need to determine the extent of brevipalpus mite populations and OFV within our collections.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:33 PM
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Interesting, and thanks for the good picture illustrating damage. I assume you work at the Botanic Garden? What steps will you take to attack this pest?
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:10 PM
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Flat mite control

We treated once with Ultra-Fine horticultural oil. That killed many, but many survived - hatching from eggs protected beneath leaf sheaths. We treated the second time with Avid (abamectin) and results were excellent.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:07 PM
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I had both the regular spidermites and the false ones last winter with many of my non-orchids and a few orchids. I even lost a few orchids to them. I purchased lacewings which I put on the plants in the spring, when putting the plants outside. Lady bugs came to help and I might have had a few predator mites come to visit. This winter, I have seen no evidence of them at all. I only have around seventy orchids and about forty other house plants, though, so trying predator bugs was a plausible option for me. Hopefuly, Avid will take care of your problem. Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:14 PM
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Ugh, I have both two-spotted and false, and I'm hesitant to buy a systemic - and not only for the price. I have cats who chew on my plants. But I might want to try Avid in the spring when I can put the plants outside...
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:12 AM
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Sorry to hear that, roseclaw.
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:52 PM
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Brevipalpus biocontrol

Leafmite: that's good to hear. We often find resolution of various pests when we move plants outdoors in spring. Natural rainfall helps with spider mites and natural enemies often arrive to suppress thrips, scales, mealybugs and aphids. I haven't tried predatory mites for flat mites, but I suspect species of Neoseiulus ( sometimes referred to as Amblyseius) would be effective. Neoseiulus californicus has documented efficacy. Given the cooler conditions flat mites are active, I suspect Amblyseius californicus would work. All of these suppress spider mites, but Phytoseiulus persimilis, under warm conditions, is fantastic.

Roseclaw: there are no effective media applied systemics for these mites. Avid works good. The risk of consuming treated leaves for your cat is relatively low, but I'd go with less risk and apply horticultural oil. Two applications a couple weeks apart will probably rid them.
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