Boxwood bud mite
Boxwood bud mite, Phytoptus (=Eriophyes) canestrinii Nalepa, is an eriophyid mite first described from boxwood in Austria. The mites live inside of the bud scales where their feeding may lead to leaf distortion and flower damage.
The damage generally appears on the summer flush of growth affected plants on Buxus sempervirens and Buxus x 'Green Mountain', according to anecdotal reports from the field. B. sempervirens 'Suffruticosa' has had reports of damaging populations as well. Buxus marcrophylla is listed as a host as well (Denmark, 1974). Damage has shown up in the North Willamette Valley beginning as early as the beginning of April. The new growth is distorted and can be mistaken for thrips damage. This is not a very common problem in the PNW, but can reduce plant value and marketability.
Management - There is limited information on chemical management of this mite. Chemical control efforts are hampered by difficulties achieving contact with the mites while they feed inside the bud. Timing chemical applications to new flushes of growth might improve contact. A miticide which has translaminar systemic properties and activity against a range of mite families, would be a preferred choice. There is mention of using Amblyseius andersoni as a predatory mite control for this eriophyid mite at the Biobest website.
Denmark, H.A. 1974. Boxwood bud mite, Phytoptus canestrinii Nalepa, in Florida (Acarina, Eriophyidae). Entomology Circular No. 147. Division of Plant Industry, Florida Dept. Agr. & Consumer Serv. 1 p.
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