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European Red Mite

University of Georgia Plant Pathology Archive, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Panonychus ulmi (Koch) - Egg(s) The European red mite is another introduced pest in the US. It is a pest of nut, pome and stone fruits, and some berries. This pest damages leaves and causes fruit russetting. European red mites can have 6 to 8 generations per year, depending on the temperature. Summer generations may develop in as little as 14 days.
 
The adult female mites are brick red with white spots at the base of six to eight hairs on their back. The male mite is more slender and lighter in color than the female, with a more pointed abdomen. Eggs are red, globular and somewhat flattened (onion shaped) with a slender stalk on the upper side. European red mites overwinter as eggs laid in roughened bark around the bases of buds and spurs on small branches. During the summer eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. Egg hatch in the spring is closely correlated with bud development and begins close to the tight cluster stage. During the summer, eggs require 7 to 14 days to hatch.
 
All active stages of the European red mite injure the foliage by feeding with piercing mouthparts and removing cell contents, including chlorophyll. Moderate to high numbers of mites can cause the leaves to initially turn pale and with continued feeding the leaves turn bronze. Heavy mite feeding early in the season can reduce tree growth, yield, and also affect fruit bud formation for the following year. Some apple cultivars, such as 'Red Delicious' and 'Braeburn', are more prone to mite buildup and injury.
 
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