Cyclamen mites are an organic and conventional strawberry pest that thrive in humid locations, normally on areas with a perennial matted row system. These small bugs cannot be seen by the naked eye.
What is a Cyclamen Mite?
Cyclamen mites (Phytonemus pallidus) are minute elliptical mites. They are prevalent when the weather is humid. It’s from the group of arachnids. Just like the two-spotted spider mite, the cyclamen mite infestation can lead to some serious troubles. These strawberry pests can be quite a nuisance to greenhouse operators as they suck out sap
and cell contents of the plant they’re infesting.
How to Identify a Cyclamen Mite?
These bugs are semi-transparent having the color of orange-pink and are shiny. They are one over a hundred of an inch long and can’t be seen without being magnified. This bug has eight legs where the pair of its hind legs for females is threadlike while for the males it is pincer-like.
What is the Life Cycle of a Cyclamen Mite?
The females lay around ninety eggs and around eighty percent of it are likely to become females. Their manner of laying is two to three eggs per day and continuously for up to two to three weeks. When those eggs hatch, the larvae only have six legs and as it turns into its dormant nymphal stage, they develop two more legs making it eight-legged. On their preferred temperature, they can complete their life cycle in around two weeks.
How are They Harmful?
These bugs are so small that you can’t see them with your bare eyes and it is for this reason that they go undetected until you see the damage they’ve caused. They choose to either damage the buds alone or infest the entire plant. You’ll be seeing the leaves of the plant curled inwardly and foliage to be darker in color. The foliage will have purplish color in them.
Cyclamen mites thrive on a temperature of sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Cyclamen is the most prone plant to be attacked but several other plants are also highly susceptible to an attack. These plants include African violets, Begonia, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, Fuchsia, Geranium, Gloxinia, Larkspur, New Guinea impatiens, Petunia, and Snapdragon.
They are also known to target strawberries outdoors.
How to Get Rid of Cyclamen Mites?
The best way to manage this pest is through prevention – you need to ensure that there’s no possibility for these minute pests to infest your garden. Cyclamen mites are hard to eradicate without having any plant casualties since it’s too small to see and your way of finding out that they’re actually there is when the damage on your plant is done.
Since these pests thrive on humid areas, it is best to keep your home less humid or plant when humidity is low.
Soak plant in water
If you have an infested plant that doesn’t have a lot of damage in it, you can try and save it by having it soaked in water for around fifteen to thirty minutes at a hundred and ten degrees Fahrenheit.
If the plant is badly damaged, trim the damaged part before soaking it. For a higher success in saving the plant, make sure to keep watch on its temperature. Most of the time it’s better to get rid of the plant rather than trying to use pesticides.
If you decide to use pesticides, make sure to separate the infested plant from the healthy ones. You can use Dicofol or insecticidal soap. Using Dicofol having three to four applications should have around ten to fourteen days of interval.
- Use insecticidal soap
For insecticidal soaps, there should be around three to five days interval for its application. You may add a wetting agent around one over twenty of an ounce to one gallon of Dicofol to increase its effectivity.
- Dispose of infested plant
Severely infested plants should be disposed of immediately. In this way, the healthy plants will be at lesser risk to get infested.
- Use mite predators
If you wish to use a different method without involving too much pesticide, you may try using mite predators. At the first sight of these plant damaging mites, these mite predators are released evenly throughout the greenhouse.
This method will take longer compared to using pesticide but the upside to it is that it won’t involve the use of those chemicals. A proper selection of predatory mites is to be considered depending on the temperature and humidity.