Agave Mite

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This section is dedicated toward maintaining one active thread for each plant pest and disease. Please feel free to add information and/or photos to existing threads or start your own pest thread by adding the common name of the pest or malady as the thread subject. Note that listings are displayed alphabetically. Enjoy!

Agave Mite

Post Number:#1  Postby Gee.S » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:02 pm

I thought it best to begin with pics that depict eriophyid mite infestation, since identification can be a tricky business. Some are garden plants, others are in habitat.

Note lesions and accompanying grease stains. If you see an Agave with lesions, but no grease stains, it is probably not eriophyid mite damage. Also note that lesions always occur on the core, posterior leaf surfaces, and leaf edges. If lesions are restricted to anterior leaf surfaces, it is not eriophyid mite damage.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Re: Agave Mite

Post Number:#2  Postby Gee.S » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:55 pm

Many of us have successfully knocked down mite infestations. I don't doubt that some Agaves are more prone to infestation than others, and there may be more than one reason. Some species may be more resistant than others due to chemical makeup (sapogen content, for example), and some individual plants may be more resistant to infestation than others, by virtue of general health/condition. And it is not unlikely that multiple Agave mite species are in play. We have found Agave mite in nurseries and in situ across Arizona, as well as habitat examples of apparent recovery from mite infestation, so Agaves do not appear entirely defenseless. Happy, healthy Agaves might manage to put up a better fight than those less suited to our garden environments.

Note lesions and accompanying grease stains. If you see an Agave with lesions, but no grease stains, it is probably not eriophyid mite damage. Also note that lesions always occur on the core, posterior leaf surfaces, and leaf edges. If lesions are restricted to anterior leaf surfaces, it is not eriophyid mite damage. It is important to understand that the type of damage/evidence shown in the prior post may take months to develop, and you cannot take a measured approach when treating. If you limit treatment to those plants with obvious mite-sign, you'll just play whack-a-mole until the end of time. Assume that any and all Agaves in the vicinity of an obviously mite-infested plant are themselves, infested, whether or not they are symptomatic. Best to abandon any and all thought of a measured response, you'll need to hit 'em hard with everything you've got.

If Agave mite has entered your collection, and evidence of contamination is found on more than one plant, rotate at least two translaminar miticides (three is preferable), spraying your entire collection top to bottom (but mostly the top) at 4-week intervals, deferring to miticide instructions. You can skip spraying in winter months so long as low temperatures dip below freezing on occasion, as mites recede deep into the core out of reach at this time. Here in sunny AZ, that is usually mid-December through mid-February. Resume spraying late winter/early spring, paying close attention to the condition of all your plants. Mite-infested Agaves not only carry grease-stained lesions on and about the core, they also fall into a general malaise, which basically presents as dormancy. These plants do not offset, and grow very slowly, if at all.

Continue to spray all of your Agaves until all of your Agaves are growing and/or offsetting and have three new clean (lesion-free) leaves. This may take a year or more. Minor infestations that don't move beyond 2-3 plants in close proximity may be easier to contain and address. Just stay vigilant and pay very close attention to the condition of all your Agaves. If you know mites are about, suspect infestation of slow-growing plants even if no lesions are present.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
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Gee.S
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Re: Agave Mite

Post Number:#3  Postby Gee.S » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:02 pm

Here are links to a few threads that feature more detailed exchanges regarding mites and treatment.

Habitat Agave Mite
First the hog snout damage, now the snout weevil?
My African Adventures
Matt Maggio's Mite Management Method Works
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
User avatar
Gee.S
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Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

Re: Agave Mite

Post Number:#4  Postby Gee.S » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:37 pm

Reference was made above to "evidence of contamination is found on more than one plant". If evidence is found on but a single plant, and that plant is either a new addition or at least somewhat isolated, or better yet, quarantined, it may be preferable to destroy that plant and keep your fingers crossed that contamination has not spread to the rest of your collection. It's a gamble, but may be a good one, dependent upon specifics, in hopes of avoiding a protracted and expensive battle.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
User avatar
Gee.S
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Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

Re: Agave Mite

Post Number:#5  Postby Viegener » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:22 pm

These are the most useful pics of mite infestation I've seen. I never quite understood the "grease stain" until now.
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Operation Agave Might

Post Number:#6  Postby Gee.S » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:13 pm

This download provides a more thorough consideration of the issue. The article is extremely informative, but five years old, when folks were really just starting to sort the mite issue out.

Operation_Mite.pdf
Operation Agave Might
(1.64 MiB) Downloaded 11 times
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
User avatar
Gee.S
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ

Re: Agave Mite

Post Number:#7  Postby Gee.S » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:38 pm

Viegener wrote:These are the most useful pics of mite infestation I've seen. I never quite understood the "grease stain" until now.

Once you've seen it up close and personal a few times, the look is unmistakable. You'll notice one photo features grease stains with no lesions. That is early stage mite infestation. And all photos feature some level of discoloration. No stains, no mites.

BTW, Amazon has a couple inexpensive offerings for Agave mite treatment. These include Pylon Miticide and Forbid 4F.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, and others walk the walk, but we stalk the stalk"
User avatar
Gee.S
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5393
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ


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