Author: Mark Hoddle and Daniel Jeske

Feeding persea mites can cause extensive foliar damage to avocados and this pest is typically controlled with pesticides. Sustainable pesticide-based control programs must rely on accurate monitoring of persea mite numbers in orchards to determine if pest populations are approaching densities which require control thereby preventing economic damage to trees. Limited applications of pesticides at critical times will significantly delay resistance development by persea mite, save growers money, and promote IPM as a marketing tool for California-grown avocados. Counting persea mites with a hand lens in the field to determine average numbers per leaf is tedious, time consuming, and an inaccurate way to measure population densities for making control decisions.