Scorch mites appearing in Georgia pecan orchards

Scorch mites are small insect-like creatures that overwinter in the bark of pecan trees and eventually emerge to feed on the underside of pecan leaves. While it is still early in the summer, mites have already been spotted on our farm here in South Georgia.

Usually the numbers of mites present do not increase enough to warrant action this early in the season, but this year we are seeing mite populations explode earlier in the summer. With a life cycle from egg to adult in as little as a week under ideal conditions, populations can and have exploded rapidly here in southern Georgia.

Control of mites and aphids becomes more difficult as resistance to modes of action develops in insects and arachnids. This will be our first mite spray this season, but probably not the last, as August usually tends to be another time when we monitor mite population growth.

Right now, aphids and mites are our second biggest battle behind scab pressure. Although the pecan crop still looks quite impressive, we have a few months left to reach the finish line with this year’s crop.

A bigger pecan crop is expected this year and so far the trees are producing a lot, we will soon start to see the June drop as the trees start shedding some of the bigger load of pecans. While this is a normal occurrence in years with higher harvests, it’s still hard to watch your trees lose pecans.

To find more information on mites and modes of action, you can check the UGA website and spray guide for helpful resources.

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