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Managing Two-Spotted Spider Mites on Soybeans

July 7, 2016

Two-spotted spider mites feed by piercing soybean leaf cell walls and sucking out its contents. In doing so, the cells are left non-functional, which hinder plant growth and development. Worst of all, the damage is irreversible.

According to Purdue University, a thorough scouting program will help control two-spotted spider mite populations. In order to identify and manage spider mites, Syngenta recommends these tips:

  • Utilize a paper test. Go to the suspected area and place a plain white sheet of paper along the plant on the ground. Shake the plant and leaves over the paper and wait a few seconds. When what looks like “dust particles” begin to move, it is most likely spider mites. Confirm this by using a hand lens and looking for two spots on the abdomen.
  • Be alert during hot and dry periods. Two-spotted spider mites become more of an issue in prolonged hot and dry periods. The damage of piercing leaves and feeding on plant juices adds to the plant stress. This also is why the plant symptoms may resemble leaf burning.
  • Continue to scout. Once mites are identified, it’s important to continue to scout in that area of the field every 5 to 10 days. Most spray treatments that are labeled for control of two-spotted spider mites have very short lived residual control and populations can spike very quickly even following an initial treatment.
  • Use proper rescue treatment timing. Prior to pod set, when 20-50 percent of the leaves are discolored. After pod set, when 10-15 percent of leaves are discolored. Take into consideration plant size, stress impact and short term weather forecast. Follow these technical recommendations for soybean spider mite control with Agri-Mek® SC.

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