How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Peach Silver Mite
Scientific name: Aculus cornutus
(Reviewed 3/09, updated 11/12)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Peach silver mite is white or cream-colored and extremely small. The body is teardrop-shaped with four short legs at the larger (anterior) end. Because it is much smaller than other mites on almonds, a high-power hand lens (15X or higher) is needed to see it clearly.
Peach silver mite is not usually damaging in almonds, although it can cause symptoms if populations build up to high levels on trees under 6 years old. Feeding by peach silver mite causes tiny chlorotic spots that give the leaf a silvery appearance, especially along the midvein of the upper leaf surface. Symptoms resemble thrips or leafhopper damage. Once higher temperatures occur in late spring, brown necrotic spots develop along leaf margins following silver mite feeding early in the season.
For the most part, peach silver mite is usually considered beneficial to have in the orchard because it serves as a food source for mite predators. Unless peach silver mite numbers are high enough (hundreds to thousands per leaf) that defoliation is occurring, no treatment is necessary.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and Mites
F. G. Zalom, Entomology, UC Davis
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:C. Pickel, UC IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, Sutter and Yuba counties
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
R. E. Rice, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County
R. L. Coviello, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County
M. W. Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County