Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bamboo Spider Mite

The bamboo spider mite is a common pest of bamboo and will occasionally attack rice and sugar cane.  Mite damage can potentially lower the bamboo's aesthetic and economic value. The mites have a flattened body, which is straw-colored to greenish yellow with small blackish green spots.

Mite feeding will result in chlorotic (pale yellow) areas on the upper leaf surface. On the underside of the leaf, mite colonies will be found under tightly woven webbing. Generally the mites remain under the web to feed and lay eggs.

A couple of miticides, Avid and Floramite, are registered in Hawaii and are quite effective. Silicon-based surfactants such as Silwet and Silgard are recommended for use with Floramite.
Before buying any of the above products, however, try spraying with a soap solution or a commercial product like Safer Soap. They usually do a good job.  Make sure to spray the undersides of the leaves, good coverage is important. Come back in seven to ten days for one or more repeat applications. 

Photos: Oregon State University