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  • Fig Bud Mites: Not Just for California

    Though a number of threads have treated this topic---and I recall that hoosierbanana, AscPete, don_sanders, ross and others have addressed it at different lengths and from different angles---I think it bears repeating: you don't have to live in a zone where fig bud mites are native or naturalized to be afflicted with them. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many colder zone collections that are overwintered indoors are heavily infested.

    In any case, here's my (bad) experience: Many of my cuttings/young plants from winter have done fairly well. The exceptions are: 1.) one cultivar with heavy Fig Mosaic Virus symptoms (badly deformed, mottled and "savoyed" leaves and a leggy habit); 2.) another with minor to moderate symptoms; 3.) the half dozen or so cuttings that seem determined to do nothing; and 3.) another half dozen that have struggled to live, keeping the same few sickly leaves for months or sometimes pushing out a tiny new leaf which languishes and ultimately withers. I considered destroying the plants that seem affected by FMV, but stopped myself, reasoning that I might be able to correct the problem with a good fertilizer regimen and that, unless I had fig bud mites, viral exchange with healthy/healthier plants was unlikely. I further reasoned that, since none of my cuttings came from anywhere near California, my chances of meeting Aceria ficus were slim.

    I couldn't have been more wrong.

    Recently, I noticed a number of hitherto healthy plants displaying mottling/stippling symptoms, especially on young leaves---even a couple of TC plants in the vicinity. And my sickest plants showed no improvement despite the addition of kelp meal, fish emulsion and azomite. I became alarmed and purchased a hand microscope. Initially, I looked for mites on the tops of leaves while they were still attached to the plants. This is tricky---or rather impossible---under high magnification! So I finally resolved to pluck a young, deformed leaf from the top of one of my most symptomatic plants. I gave the leaf a good going over. And on the bottom of the leaf (which is the best place to look) I found it.

    It was a fig mite. Or unmistakably an eriophyid mite of some species. The long, tapering body, the arrangement of the legs, of which there seemed to be only four, were all right. And it was tiny: it was difficult to make out details even at 120X magnification! The thing was also very much alive and going to town on the sweet juices of my poor, afflicted fig.

    And I knew it had relatives. And they were living all over my new fig collection. Feeding, discoloring, deforming and, worst of all, maybe vectoring viruses between plants. I now regret not trashing those plants with FMV symptoms. And I regret not taking some preventive measure against a problem which, like many fig growers both new and old, I blithely ignored. The thought of previously clean or relatively clean plants being infected greatly upsets me---especially since a majority of these plants are destined for in-ground culture in Zone 6b and I can ill afford invalids with decreased cold tolerance.

    But all I can do now is take action and hope for the best. I didn't have any pyrethrin or other insecticides on hand, but I did have 100% cold pressed neem oil. I mixed this at 2 tbsps per gallon of warm water, emulsified with 2-3 tsps of of dish soap, and thoroughly sprayed every plant, top and bottom. I will repeat this operation in five days---and again in five more. No burning or other serious damage from the oil is evident this morning---but I am keeping the plants out of direct light for a time. I may follow up with a pyrethrin or spinosad regimen, for added insurance.

    (EDIT: On closer inspection, some of the youngest leaves have been burned---or rather blackened---by neem application. Perhaps I applied too heavily? Used at too great a concentration? Still, the damage seems fairly superficial---and is better than an unchecked mite infestation.)

    A couple quick questions for those of you much more experienced and knowledgeable than I:

    1.) AscPete wisely recommends quarantine and treatment for all new plants. But is there an effective treatment for those microscopic mites sheltered in the bud scales of your newly acquired cuttings---a way to kill them before we wrap with parafilm and pot or put our sticks in the rooting bin? Or must we wait until bud break to effectively get at the vile little beasts?
    Of course, if all fig growers who trade or sell cuttings would regularly monitor and treat their collections for mites this problem would be nipped in the bud before it got into the bud. But until this day comes, we'll have to take other measures. (Please note: I'm not accusing anyone of negligence. I think a lot of well-meaning and otherwise well-informed people don't see a problem, because the problem is, well, microscopic. And I suspect some may mistake mite symptoms for FMV or nutrient deficiency symptoms---which may also be present.)

    2.) Is it possible that those of my cuttings which either failed to push out leaves or which pushed out leaves and languished were weakened by an existing mite infestation? Perhaps overwintering mites woke up hungry, trapped under parafilm in warm, dormant cuttings, and so fed on what was available, weakening or killing buds outright?

    Let me close this overlong post by going full-on PSA: Don't think it can't happen to you. It can.

    Whatever zone you live in, wherever your plants or cuttings came from, check your figs and take preventive measures.
    Last edited by Jeremiah; 03-30-2018, 01:24 PM. Reason: Condition of plants updated; typos repaired
    The microscopic fig bud mite (Aceria ficus), the primary vector for Fig Mosaic Disease, can infest any collection in any zone. Check your plants, take preventive/control measures, and please avoid sharing infested cuttings and plants with others! More details HERE.

  • #2
    Neem does have a tendency to burn in light and/or drop some leaves in my experience.

    Forbid 4F seems pretty decent. Works better than neem for me and I believe has a residual effect. It's expensive but you can get "free samples" when you buy a pipette on ebay. May want to go with the longest post harvest interval which I think is 30 days. I haven't seen it harm the trees in any way.
    Don - OH Zone 5b/6a

    Wish list: @Your favorite fig and Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Izmir/Iznot, Kesariani, Calderona

    Comment


    • Jeremiah
      Jeremiah commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Don. I try to stay as organic as possible. But if all else fails, I'll certainly look into Forbid.

  • #3
    Do not waste your time on weak, organic soap, green oil solution, Those mites are very tough, Under 50X microscope, Even you use pesticide, Garden mites/spider mites die quickly, FMV mites became dopey, After one week, I saw many tint green/white balls, 4 weeks passed, I find bady FMV mites coming back.
    Once it reach summer, FMV mites become very strong and hard to get rid of them.
    If I can find Forbid 4F, I will use it now, It will stop FMV mites for 6 months, But then, Ask yourself a question, Why They are long lasting?

    In my area, Outdoor fig trees are fine with FMV mites, they die at cold winter, I left all potted fig trees outdoor, and I spray them with cheap poison pesticide.
    Surrey BC canada

    Comment


    • Jeremiah
      Jeremiah commented
      Editing a comment
      Ricky, have you tried horticultural sulfur yet? I believe U.C. Davis has found it effective against fig mites. I may try it. There is also some anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of spinosad against eriophyid mites. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Kelby has had some luck with it.

      Also, did you repeat treatments within a few days after your initial treatment? The eggs are apparently very tough and, if you don't spray another time or two to take care of hatchlings, they'll produce a new generation which will shortly produce another . . . and so on.

    • Rickyv101
      Rickyv101 commented
      Editing a comment
      I would like to try horticultural sulfur,, Stores near here don't sell them as well as neem oils.
      Also, Pesticide treatment do kill mites, However, They burn fig leaves as well, you do not want to use them many times, Also, at summer, fig trees have so many leaves and mites live under leaves, It is very hard to clear them. Forbid 4F/spinosad are very good, they kill mites both direct/in-direct way. However, they are expensive.

      It is best time to treat mite without worry about burning leaves, I spray my potted fig trees using behind counter cheap strong pesticide, It should clear them.

    • susieqz
      susieqz commented
      Editing a comment
      i get my sulfur from amazon.

  • #4
    Some growers I've talked to have had good control using these beneficials after an initial oil spray.
    http://www.biolineagrosciences.com/products/anderline/
    Apparently there is even a better mite predator that is not available as yet in this country , can't recall the name right now.
    Kerry - NH zone 5
    Wish list - Thermalito , Kesariani , Verdolino , Zaffiro , Teramo , Burgan unknown(dreaming for sure) .

    Comment


  • #5
    When I get cuttings I soak them overnight in water in zip bag containing both Forbid and Avid before doing anything else and I burn the packing materials and box they came in.Theres pests other than fig mites too always looking to hitch rides.
    Z8A NC SANDHILLS

    WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

    Comment


    • Jeremiah
      Jeremiah commented
      Editing a comment
      A good idea, Yatama. It might indeed take something strong to get at the little buggers when they're hidden in the bud scales. And unless I can find an effective alternative, I may have to abandon organic culture in the early cuttings stage.

    • Realtorbyday
      Realtorbyday commented
      Editing a comment
      That's really good advice Yatama! I'm going to start burning the packaging. I bought something on ebay one time, took it to my living room to open it and a BIG BLACK SPIDER jumped out of the box and promptly ran under my sofa!!! Nobody was allowed to rest until it was dead.

    • YATAMA
      YATAMA commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes we got a big package from Amazon and 2 big roaches were in the bottom of box. so I had to spray which I hate to do. who knows what garden pests can ride in from some state thousand miles away

  • #6
    My Neem oil says two teaspoons per gallon, you may need to check your destructions.
    Looking for the next best, high quality fig.

    Comment


    • Jeremiah
      Jeremiah commented
      Editing a comment
      Mine (Dynagro) suggests 1.5 teaspoons per quart---or two tablespoons per gallon. The foliar spray directions for another cold pressed neem oil product, Neem Pro, has 2.5 tablespoons per gallon. Still, might be a little strong for tender young plants. Is yours pure neem oil or a neem extract?

      Was "destructions" on purpose--or an apposite slip? Granted, I did wreak a little destruction on some of the young leaves. But nothing too bad (I hope)! : ) Let's hope it played real havoc with the mites. Perhaps it was a little harsh; I may spray with something else next week---perhaps spinosad or pyrethrin---or else try a weaker solution of neem.
      Last edited by Jeremiah; 03-31-2018, 12:33 AM.

    • AZfig
      AZfig commented
      Editing a comment
      Nevermind, I was thinking quart. I have the same, Dyna-Grow.👍

  • #7
    Since i used this organic product (it takes a couple of sprays, with a couple of weeks interval, to get rid of the second generation that comes from eggs) i got rid of my spider mite problem.
    https://www.growthtechnology.com/pro...rmite-control/

    It's not cheap but its very effective.

    https://www.amazon.com/SMC-Control-S.../dp/B003VNATI6
    Jaime - Zone 9b - Portugal - Whish list: Sofeno Claro, Paderne, Pardinho, Bournabat, Bouhouli, Thermalito, Unk. Pastiliére, Luv, Genovese Nero.

    Comment


    • Jeremiah
      Jeremiah commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Jaime. I wonder if it would be effective against microscopic fig bud mites (Aceria ficus)? That's my main problem. What's the active ingredient?

    • Jsacadura
      Jsacadura commented
      Editing a comment
      I used a chemical specific for mites on my fig plants and it didn't work. I used this product 2 times and they are all gone. It didn't affect the plants. In fact they look sensational.

      Here's the product description:

      SMC - Spidermite Control by Growth Technology (by the brand Ionic) is very effective against mites and red spider mites. It is totally natural and safe for your health and the environment. It can be sprayed well into the bloom since there is no waiting period and you won't have to wait before consuming the buds.

      SMC - Spidermite Control is an exceptional product which can sort out problems related to red spiders and mites in outdoor and indoor crops. It kills mites by asphyxia and that's why it is necessary they are totally covered with the product.

      Spray the stems and leaves perfectly, reaching all parts of the plant so no mite stays alive.

      Repeat the process 10 days afterwards if you see new specimens.

      It is composed exclusively of natural oils and ecological extracts among which there is cinnamon. They eliminate spiders and newborns easily and fast, besides limiting the damage caused by them in a short period of time.

      We recommend this product to all growers who encounter persistent problems related to red spider mites in their mother plant rooms and also to those who produce many clones or cuttings or even to those who grow in a continuous way, since in these cases mites become used to insecticides and might develop immunity.

      This product can also be applied at advanced stages of the flowering stage although you should avoid spraying the buds. There won't be any risk of finding traces when you consume the final product.

      Dosage and instructions for use of Spidermite Control SMC by Growth Technology:

      Mix 25ml in 1L of water and spray both sides of leaves.

      A single application should be sufficient to eradicate the problem. We recommend repeating the treatment every 10-12 days to maximize the result.

      Composition of Spidermite Control SMC by Growth Technology:

      94% canola oil.
      5% triethanolamine.
      1% coriander oil

  • #8
    Just an update for those of you interested in fig mites (and all of us really should be---and certainly those of us trading, selling and/or buying plants and cuttings): A week after spraying with neem---and despite keeping my plants in the shade---they're burned pretty badly and are dropping many leaves. I hope they can recover, as all seem to have decent root systems visible at the bottom of their treepots, but they definitely have been set back. Never spray very young plants with neem oil.

    More bad news: Inspected plants this morning. And on a recently sprouted, now withered leaf at the top of one of my plants found a live eriophyid mite with my microscope. I guess it could be that it was hidden in the bud and so was missed by the oil spray; could also be newly hatched. In any case, will have to spray again---probably with spinosad this time. I hope that spinosad doesn't burn them further---and it doesn't seem like it should, as I've used it on other plants with no ill effects---but I've got no choice but to spray again. Probably a couple more times.
    Last edited by Jeremiah; 04-06-2018, 09:30 PM.
    The microscopic fig bud mite (Aceria ficus), the primary vector for Fig Mosaic Disease, can infest any collection in any zone. Check your plants, take preventive/control measures, and please avoid sharing infested cuttings and plants with others! More details HERE.

    Comment


    • #9
      I use neem oil concentrate on my plants. A product called Azamax. It keeps the mites at bay for a while and doesn't seem to burn the plants. It helps to spray for 4 weeks, every 2 weeks, for 3 total sprays.

      Also, 100% of all fig trees in California have FMV, it's just not possible to not have it here.
      -Anton, Zone 9b, Santa Clarita,CA

      Comment


      • Jeremiah
        Jeremiah commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Anton, will look into Azamax. I plan on growing in-ground trees in a marginal zone; serious FMV infections are much more problematic in this case, and may decrease cold tolerance.

    • #10
      Horticultural Micronized Sulfur; http://www.bonide.com/products/garde...lant-fungicide is proven effective on eriophyid mites ; https://utahpests.usu.edu/uppdl/file...-mites2010.pdf and is the product that was used to eliminate Fig Mites for the FMV Research by UC Riverside in 1955; http://calag.ucanr.edu/archive/?type...=ca.v011n01p12

      Jeremiah ,
      But is there an effective treatment for those microscopic mites sheltered in the bud scales of your newly acquired cuttings---a way to kill them before we wrap with parafilm and pot or put our sticks in the rooting bin? Or must we wait until bud break to effectively get at the vile little beasts?
      In answer to your question in the OP...
      Documented research concludes that fig mites (Aceria ficus Cotte) overwinter in dormant buds, so a "simple" way to reduce and or eliminate the population (in colder zones) would be to remove and discard those buds, as recommended by Japanese researchers; https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdiseas...mosaic-disease ...



      https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article.../_pdf/-char/en
      . IPM of A. ficus (Cotte)
      We propose an IPM (Integrated pest management) system for A. ficus as follows:
      (1) Big dormant fig buds should be cut in January-March to reduce overwintered A. ficus populations.
      (2) Pyrethroid spraying should be reduced to discourage A. ficus resurgence.
      (3) Acaricides should be applied in early to mid-July, the optimum timing for controlling A. ficus damage.
      (4) Thiophanate-methyl is useful to reduce A. ficus damage because it both kills A. ficus and preserves natural enemies.
      (Shibao & Tanaka)
      Once eliminated at a location (in a colder zone) Quarantine and Treatment procedures along with basic orchard hygiene should eliminate any possibility of spreading FMV infections to healthy plants.
      Last edited by AscPete; 05-13-2018, 12:37 PM. Reason: added link, quote and photo for documented Japanese IPM
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

      Comment


      • FigsNorth
        FigsNorth commented
        Editing a comment
        ... see post below

    • #11
      Is there any root to root transfer of FMV? I have not read anywhere of this potential vector.
      figs, peaches, apples, nectarines, pomegranates, cherry, pistachio, and pear tree grower 😄
      El Paso Tx zone 8a 8” rain

      Comment


      • Jeremiah
        Jeremiah commented
        Editing a comment
        Dig, I've looked for this, too, and can find no hard evidence for it. Also, some say mechanical means---like dirty pruners---can pass on the infection, but there seems to be no scientific backing for this theory. FMV is not found in the sap---though some other viruses can be. Only known avenues of transmission for FMV seem to be fig the mite and grafting infected fig stock onto uninfected plants.

      • Dig
        Dig commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. Viruses are such an oddity.

    • #12
      Azamax may be difficult to find. Residue of two pesticides was found in the product, believe by the state of Oregon. Product while expensive is very effective.
      Johnson1
      Zone 9b
      S of Tampa Bay, FL

      Comment


      • Jeremiah
        Jeremiah commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi, Johnson1. Do you know if neem derivatives like Azamax are less harsh on plants than pure neem oil? I used cold-pressed neem oil (Dyna-Gro) on my young plants at the manufacturer's recommended rate and it burned them pretty badly.

    • #13
      Thanks for starting an informative thread, Jeremiah. I had never heard of fig mites before. There's so much to learn about figs! Moderators, do you think that fig mites may need to be added to Frequently Referenced Topic 15. Disease and Pest ?
      Christine (Waddell, AZ Zone 9b) Wishlist: All my fig wishes have been fulfilled by OurFigs members. Thank you!

      Comment


      • Jeremiah
        Jeremiah commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, Christine. I agree with adding this subject to Frequently Referenced Topics; there needs to be more awareness of fig mites and their inadvertent circulation by the fig community. Mites hitching rides on cuttings and plants apparently happens a lot more frequently than many realize. And as they can vector FMV and impair the health of figs in the long term---perhaps permanently and seriously in some cases---, they should be regarded as a serious problem. Fortunately, an easily addressed problem---but the key is awareness.

    • #14
      crademan ,

      Fig Mites or Fig Bud Mites are really only part of the "Problem" as it concerns the spread of Fig Mosaic Virus (FMV).

      The viral infection(s) are in the fig plant cells, fig mites only transmit the existing infections from already infected plants, they are born virus free. If a cutting is received with fig mites present it may or may not already have FMV infection(s), any overwintering mites are probably already infected with any viruses that are present in that cutting. In the early stages of propagation treating fig mites is relatively simple, but requires repeated applications of non systemic miticides; https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article.../_pdf/-char/en

      Humans are a main culprits in the spread of FMV, by transporting and propagating infected Mites and Plant Materials. The larger problem arises when infected plants and infected mites are relocated to areas with healthy or healthier plants. There are areas in the middle east which were previously documented virus free that are now being infected by FMV due to the introduction / propagation of new infected fig cultivar.

      And yes, fig mites can and should be added to the category but IMO should be in context to and with FMV.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

      Comment


      • crademan
        crademan commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the explanation, AscPete. I'm glad that OurFigs is educating me about Fig Mosaic Virus and fig mites.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Christine,
        You’re welcome.

    • #15
      Timely thread which may explain my deformed leaves... in the attached photos would mites make leaves do this? This is on a five year old potted H.Chicago, but it looks like I have it on a few two year olds too of various varieties. They seem to be unfurling with the damage already done, accentuating as the leafs grow. First time I've seen anything like this... overwintered in the same spot as previous years. And no incoming cuttings this year to spread something new.

      The only thing I have on hand is Neem, which in my experience, even when following directions, burns leaf tips.

      Thanks for your help-
      Spark
      Spark
      6B, Virginia

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Spark ,
        I've experienced similar looking leaves on a few cultivars where the leaf buds had been physically damaged...

        Fig Mites don't put holes in leaves, they suck out the juices...
        https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...ots-from-mites

        And leave chlorotic spots which often become necrotic later in the season...

      • Spark
        Spark commented
        Editing a comment
        AscPete, were you able to remedy your similarly experienced leaves? And determine the cause?

        (and thank you for the informative mite threads)

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Spark ,

        The later / younger leaves emerged normal, the plants simply produced healthy looking leaves as the season progressed.

        You’re welcome.

    • #16
      For anyone physically looking for mites on their figs, that link that Pete posted above (https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article.../_pdf/-char/en) says that the fig mites can be found in different places at different times of year:

      May: the mites prefer the bud
      July/August (peak mite volumes): the mites prefer the 2nd to last leaf
      October: the mites prefer the last leaf
      Dormant: the mites overwinter in leaf buds, particularly larger buds (as Pete mentioned above)

      Note: the mites are rarely found on lower leaves or fig shoots

      Edit: they are microscopic too!

      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-18-2018, 05:57 PM.
      Archie (now in Winnipeg, MB! Wait, what? I'm in Zone 3?!)

      Comment


      • Jeremiah
        Jeremiah commented
        Editing a comment
        Archie, have you also had the misfortune to meet A. ficus? If so, I'd be very interested in hearing what you've done to treat your problem---and what sort of luck you've had. Thanks!

      • FigsNorth
        FigsNorth commented
        Editing a comment
        [UPDATE: I no longer believe that the "mite" I found was necessarily a fig mite. It wasn't worm-like and I don't have powerful enough magnification or experience to give a positive id.]

        Jeremiah Yes, unfortunately I have just found them on my plants. Up until 24 hours ago, I had never heard if Aceria Ficus, the fig mite. I was only familiar with spider mites and figured I didn't have mites because I didn't see any mites. WRONG!

        I am planning to apply a combo of sulphur and insecticidal soap as a first course of action. I will update my other thread with my results.

        This thread was very helpful to me over the last 24 hours, especially the research literature.
        Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-19-2018, 11:47 AM.

      • Rickyv101
        Rickyv101 commented
        Editing a comment
        I like your cell phone camera idea, I would like to know what is your MaX. Zoom setting on your cell phone.

    • #17
      I appreciate the photo of toothpick but the structure atthe tip of toothpick is hardly discernable in photo.Did it move? was it only one?To my eye in photo looks like could just be a piece of nonspecific debris.I plan to examine some of my plants and have the magnifier but need to understand what a mite looks like and the photo is unclear to me I had thought one would see something with legs crawling around.Is it best to look at topside or underside of leaf?
      Z8A NC SANDHILLS

      WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

      Comment


      • FigsNorth
        FigsNorth commented
        Editing a comment
        [UPDATE: I don't know that what I found was Aceria Ficus. However I did find a living microscopic insect that is most likely a mite. It could be another type of mite but it is definitely not dust. :-) ]

        YATAMA Yes, the photo isn't clear that it is a mite, but it 100% is alive because I saw it moving. I also have video which I hope to post soon and you will see what I mean. The zoom and resolution is unfortunately limited by my camera phone and the zoom is digital only. I would probably need 60x optical zoom for you to clearly make out the body parts. This was just so microscopic!

        See my other thread for how I found them. If you have a camera phone with decent resolution than you should be able to replicate my results. It's just the movement that makes it obvious othersie I would never have been able to identify it was a mite. Under camera zoomed in, you can clearly see it is not dust and that it is a living, moving insect.

        This particular bug was found on the top of the leaf. Find a diseased looking leaf and pull it off the tree and examine it under bright light indoors and under a steadied camera at max digital zoom.
        Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-19-2018, 11:48 AM.

    • #18

      YATAMA, the only detailed portraits of A. ficus I was able to round up on the internet.

      Click image for larger version

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      Click image for larger version

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      Seen at 40X-60X magnification, they will look like tiny, whitish worms. They generally move slowly, dragging themselves along by their four, front-mounted legs. I've had the most luck finding them at the bottoms of young leaves. Can be hard to see, as they tend to blend in with leaf hairs. I've done a couple of quick surveys in the past week or two and haven't noticed any. Perhaps my final Forbid 4f/Spinosad combo spray did them in? Or perhaps the eriophyids I spotted earlier this summer were errant pear or apple rust mites from the orchard?

      (For those who have not been following and are interested in what all this spinosad/Forbid/errant rust mite business is about, please see the "Fig Bud Mites and Spinosad" thread: https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...s-and-spinosad.)
      Attached Files
      The microscopic fig bud mite (Aceria ficus), the primary vector for Fig Mosaic Disease, can infest any collection in any zone. Check your plants, take preventive/control measures, and please avoid sharing infested cuttings and plants with others! More details HERE.

      Comment


      • FigsNorth
        FigsNorth commented
        Editing a comment
        "They generally move slowly, dragging themselves along by their four, front-mounted legs."

        Hmm... The bug I found was not slow. It was running away from my toothpick.
        Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-19-2018, 01:21 AM.

    • #19
      WOW,scary! Not what I expected. I got a set of magnifying glasses that have 40x lenses so will get them out tomorrow to check but doubt have mites as everything in or out of here gets blasted with 2 miticides at once.Thanks for your scientific grade discussion of this matter.My late uncle would have been quite interested in knowing you and might even have offered you a job working on plant diseases.
      Z8A NC SANDHILLS

      WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

      Comment


      • #20

        Comment


        • YATAMA
          YATAMA commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, now I can ID the #@x%^ !

      • #21
        Here is my video of what I *thought* is a fig mite (Aceria Ficus). However reading the descriptions posted above, I'm beginning to question what kind of critter this actually is. It is microscopic, but also fast moving. Not worm like, more spider mite like. However, this was far smaller than a spider mite.

        Look for yourself... What is this?
         
        Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-19-2018, 01:23 AM.
        Archie (now in Winnipeg, MB! Wait, what? I'm in Zone 3?!)

        Comment


        • Bellefleurs
          Bellefleurs commented
          Editing a comment
          Did you ever determine what type of insect this is?

        • FigsNorth
          FigsNorth commented
          Editing a comment
          Not definitively, but I believe it was a predatory mite of some kind. I understand that a distinguising feature of predator mites are their speed, and that mite was certainly speedy! Perhaps it was one of these: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/predatory-mites

          I can say for sure it was NOT a fig bud / fig leaf mite. I have since also found those on my figs and they are even smaller and look like little slow moving worms.

      • #22
        Saw video.What great observer you are! From the other diagram of the mite with 4 rudimentary legs near the head no way is the critter in video fig mite. Hopefully something that EATS fig mites? Am sure theres myrad tiy critters too small for naked eyes to appreciate all over everything growing outdoors!Fortunately maybe only a few are harmful else we would not exist ourselves!
        Z8A NC SANDHILLS

        WISH LIST BURGAN UNK, ZAFFIRO,

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        • #23
          FigsNorth, thanks for posting the video. Fortunately, that doesn't look like a fig mite. Looks a little larger, body shape (from what I can tell) seems more globular---and it can really book it! It could well be a predatory mite of some species. There are many that prey on eriophyid and other mites, and also on thrips and other small pests. Haven't seen any native ones on my figs and I have been toying with the idea of introducing some as extra insurance---but predatory mites from reputable suppliers seem to cost an arm and a leg, especially when shipping is figured in! If I don't spot any more fig mites or mite symptoms I may just let matters ride until dormancy, when I will treat all figs with sulphur (which, hopefully, will kill any overwintering females, if present).

          YATAMA, good luck! You are probably right that you won't find any, since you've been prophylactically treating new plants/cuttings with two effective eriophyid killers.
          Last edited by Jeremiah; 07-19-2018, 08:30 AM.
          The microscopic fig bud mite (Aceria ficus), the primary vector for Fig Mosaic Disease, can infest any collection in any zone. Check your plants, take preventive/control measures, and please avoid sharing infested cuttings and plants with others! More details HERE.

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          • FigsNorth
            FigsNorth commented
            Editing a comment
            @jeremiah

            Have you used sulphur during the growing season to combat pests? How about insecticidal soap? I'm contemplating applying both. I'm not sure if the bugs I have are beneficial tho. Would have to kill them if they are but the sulohur is also to combat what could be some fungus issues also on the same figs.

          • Jeremiah
            Jeremiah commented
            Editing a comment
            Archie FigsNorth, no I've not used sulphur during the growing season. It can burn leaves if weather is hot, so be careful. Still, it might be the best control option available to you in Canada. I understand that spinosad---which seemed to have pretty decent efficacy against fig mites (though it is not labeled for eriophyid mites)---is not available in Canada. Forbid 4f (spiromesifen) seems effective and has residual, translaminar effect (as does spinosad, to a more limited extent); it is labeled for ornamentals, but the active ingredient (which, like spinosad, has low mammalian toxicity) is also labeled for edibles under a different name (Oberon). I'm not sure, but think it is also restricted in Canada. Noticed that you can buy a sample bottle on ebay.ca, shipping from the US---but you might run a risk getting it through customs. Avid (abamectin) is also used, but am not sure about its availability in Canada. It's a good deal more toxic than either spinosad or spiromesifen. Pyrethroids like permethrin, according to the Japanese study, produced a little less than 50% mortality in A. ficus. Don't hold out much hope that natural pyrethrin would do a better job---though one former member here swore by Pyola, a preparation of natural pyrethrin and canola oil (EDIT: similar to your "Bug B Gone"). For all I know it might work, but it would definitely require repeated, short-interval applications. Carbaryl is a traditional eriophyid treatment, but don't know how effective it would be against fig bud mites or about its availability in Canada. You might run down the list of effective acaricides and fungicides listed in the Japanese study, but I suspect you'll have a hard time finding them. I looked at this a while back and wrote most off for lack of availability/affordability or toxicity or lack of systemic/translaminar action.

            I've used insecticidal soap on other plants, but not figs. I think it would be of marginal usefulness against eriophyid mites, but it might help a little. Neem, if available, might help a bit---both as direct smothering agent and growth/reproduction regulator---but, as you know, it can burn. I used Dyna-Gro neem oil at manufacturer recommended rates as my first treatment ,and it fried my cuttings. They recovered, but it really set them back---and I found a live mite on a new leaf a week or so after treatment. Might be safer at a lower concentration, but would require experimentation. Neem derivatives like Azamax or Azatrol might be safer---and might be useful when used in rotation with other treatments; still, you should always spot test first.

            The problem with the fig bud mite is that it's tiny, tough, fast-reproducing and can get into hard-to-reach places like buds or even fruit. This makes it hard to eradicate with strictly contact poisons. Heck, I'm still not 100% sure I've eradicated it with the treatments I've used!

            Are you sure you have fig mites? Before spraying---and this is just me; others might advise differently---, I'd make a careful survey, concentrating on young leaves or any suspicious-looking leaves in general. I'd also go ahead and spot test any pesticides I wanted to use, just in case you do find fig mites or you decide you want to go ahead and treat prophylactically. If you had ready access to spinosad or spiromesifen I'd say go ahead and spray, as neither of these had any phytotoxic effects on my figs; but since Ottawa (the big one---not mine 🙂) seems to be limiting your options, a different approach is in order.
            Last edited by Jeremiah; 07-20-2018, 09:31 AM.

        • #24
          Please look at last or 2nd leaves, fig mites love to stay there.
          I find that there eggs can handle near freezing, but not sure how cold can clear them at winter.

          Surrey BC canada

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          • #25
            @Jeremiah

            ​​​​​​No, I don't actually know if I have fig mites. I have pulled off a bunch of leaves, including the last and 2nd last (which I understand to be the leaves closest to the bud, correct?) of my various figs and I don't see any bugs that resemble Aceria Ficus.

            I now believe that the mites I have been able to see and in the video I posted could in fact be predatory mites. I'm basing that conclusion on the fact that the mites I see look like the predatory mite in the video below shown attacking "Russet Mites" (russet morem are Aceria mites https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceria_anthocoptes and seem to closely resemble the descriptions of Aceria Ficus, the fig mite -- including being worm like, propelling themselves by front legs).

            Hopefully this video will also help others who are struggling to ID different mites. It would be helpful if others on here who have seen them (e.g. @Rickyv101) and positively identified them can confirm the fig mite looks similar.

            Edit: According to my online research, predator mites are tyoitypic tear dropped shape, larger than their prey, and able to move quickly.
             
            Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-20-2018, 08:25 PM.
            Archie (now in Winnipeg, MB! Wait, what? I'm in Zone 3?!)

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            • Jeremiah
              Jeremiah commented
              Editing a comment
              Now that's a gratifying sight! Thanks for posting it, Archie. It is a very good example for others, as mites in family eriophyidae don't vary a whole lot in appearance.

              There's a good chance you don't have fig mites, then. Just keep an eye out for unusual spotting and other symptoms, maybe do an occasional microscope survey and watch out for their presence on new plant materials.

            • FigsNorth
              FigsNorth commented
              Editing a comment
              If indeed the mites I see are predatory mites (and my ongoing research continues to lead me in that direction), then it begs the question, on what are they predating? They must have a food supply in order to be there.

              If you have some kind of insect on your plant, maybe they are either eating your plant, or maybe they are eating something that is eating your plant. :-) Either way, something is still eating your plant!

              Edit:. "...but many species are also known to feed on fungi, plant exudates, and pollen." So I guess it's possible they could be eating pollen or fungus, and not your plant.
              Last edited by FigsNorth; 07-20-2018, 08:27 PM.

            • Jeremiah
              Jeremiah commented
              Editing a comment
              A very good point. How many of these guys have you seen? If you saw just a few maybe they're just passing through; if you're noticing a lot of them---and they are in fact predatory mites---it does tend to suggest that prey is present. Doesn't necessarily mean fig bud mites, of course: whiteflies, larval leafhoppers, thrips and a number of other small critters can be on the menu; some species will also engage in cannibalism and, as you discovered, some can sustain themselves on a vegetarian diet. Spider mites, of course, are a popular meal with many predatory mite species, though you would've noticed an infestation of those. I'd keep my eyes peeled. Perhaps you can find what they're eating.
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