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 Post subject: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:04 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1350
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
I have quite severe bamboo mite infestation. I have no clue how they came since I only planted my own seedlings lately and none of my previously bought bamboos were infected.
Is there a way to fight the darn little creatures without poisoning everything or cutting bamboo down completely.
I tried spraying boos with water regularly and it did little or nothing. I think I saw the little buggers laughing at me. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 4697
Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
I have them on 2 plants and I clear cut one, dug it out/potted and the new crop seems to be mite free so far. My other one is so interesting I hate to clear cut it and it still has the mites so I'll be interested to learn if you find a 'cure'. I'm hoping for a systemic miticide.

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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1350
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
I hope that high mite population attracts some kind of predator or contagious pathogen that would eradicate them. :mrgreen:
It's interesting that Ph. aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' was hit the most last year and there's a lot less mites on it this year compared to Moso which was practically mite-free last year.
My arcana seedlings are also infested this year, last year there were no mites there since it's located away from other bamboos.

I really don't know how these suckers came. Nearest bamboo is 300 meters away and it seemed healthy last time I saw it. Perhaps someone bought an infected bamboo as a potted plant for the patio or balcony. I saw highly infested bamboos in one of the D-I-Y home depot centers. Someone got sc...ed and scr...ed me (my bamboo) as well.

Miticide systemic would be awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:26 pm
Posts: 823
Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
I experienced a 1/2 acre infestation of mites abt 4 years ago. It seems to have started in a small grove of temple bamboo. Why and how unknown. One local grower said he had also been infested by mites and that it had started in his temple bamboo. I contacted around 5 bamboo nurseries/growers in a few states about their experiences/control of bamboo mites. Response was good. The best solution I found was Talstar. I would recommend this for severe cases only.
For small infestations strip leaves and spray with less potent mite repellents. Rgds


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 91
Location: SE UK 400ft Zone 8/7 Low usually 28F, -4C (-10, -12, -14, -1, -6C last 5); High 99F, 37C in 2019
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
My sympathy Tarzanus, how did we get to this situation? You could blitz your entire ecosystem with Talstar in the EU until 2011, when it was banned across the EU. As well as being toxic to birds, most aquatic organisms, honeybees and earthworms, it is also an endocrine disrupter and neurotoxin in humans, causing tremors and staggered gait, as well as being a possible human carcinogen. (Loss of such hard-won environmental protection if we leave the EU is just one of the very many horrors of Brexit)

The other alternatives are a small thermonuclear device detonated approximately 100m above your property, or simply cutting affected bamboos to the ground, burning or clearing it all away and waiting a few months for nice fresh vigorous healthy regrowth. The choice is yours.

If you have explored the nooks and crevices of bamboo plant with a good hand lens, you will appreciate the huge number of hitch-hikers they inevitably carry. As well as the known pests, there are the unknown ones we have yet to be scared by. When I get a new bamboo, I remove all top growth, or at least grow it inside a plastic bag until I am sure it is strong enough, then cut it down to the soil and watch those nice clean shoots come up. If I see a plant in a nursery or garden centre with pests, I flash my senior citizen's railcard at an employee, show them the pests, and say that I am from the Ministry of Agriculture and that they must destroy these plants before we come back for a thorough inspection, or we may have to close down the whole nursery, then leave quickly.

The mites and other pests are easily spread by fluttering feathery bird wings, and by flicking squirrel tails, so unless we treat infestations quickly and thoroughly they will only spread and be back again.

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SE England
bamboo-identification.co.uk

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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 am
Posts: 1350
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Chris, I am certain they hitchhiked birds, just have no idea who has an infested grove nearby. Well, now we all have them I guess. The vermin started spawning in my 'lamatempel' (spectabilis) which is full of sparrows. Sometimes the whole grove moves as they start fighting for top positions inside. I think they somehow managed to have their offspring inside - that puzzles me, because bamboo is flexible and most if not all the nests fall down just as fast as they can build them. That bamboo is much better this year (knock-konck) so perhaps the winged stinkers might have gotten me something that feeds on them as well. Last year 50% or so of the leaves became at least partially yellow, so far there are only mite webs on several leaves, you actually have to look for them. as for all the other bamboos...
Phyllostachys Arcana seedlings are highly infested with at least 90% of the leaves affected. Moso seedling as well.

The only unaffected bamboo this year and last year is Borinda fungosa (gaolinensis?). Mites don't seem to like it at all.

Even if I would decide to use some kind of miticide, I would need to cut the majority of the growth down. Phyllostachys aureosulcata ' Spectabilis' (lamatempel if it really is what I bought) is closing on 10m height and it's getting hard to imagine spraying it. Besides, there's a whole ecosystem in and around that bamboo, including a pond, which would get devastated as well.

I'm still hoping the abundance of mites will attract predators.

PS: there are predating mites that can be bought, but they are not allowed to be used outside in the open. You can only use them in a controlled environment inside a greenhouse.

Thermonuclear idea seems tempting. I'll ask ayatollah if Iran can spare some for a good cause. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo mites
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:26 pm
Posts: 823
Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
Fred from Chernobyl by the sea. No I am not on a respirator and no the local creatures have not deserted or died off. Let's start with the scope of the problem. At the time of the infestation, I had 109 bamboo species in my collection. About 1/3 to 1/2 became infested, several were large groves that posed difficult problems because of their height (25 to 50ft tall). Currently my madake grove is probably one of the largest on the Pacific coast. As indicated, I contacted growers for help. None of the. let's call it non-chemical solutions, worked and the infestation continued to grow. As a last resort, I applied Talstar.
I applied one application and had a 80% response. I applied another application to remaining plants and the problem was resolved. I followed instructions and did not see any reduction in creatures (gophers, bees, mountain lions, etc). If you walked through my garden you would be awed by beauty and the positive influence it has on the earth. However, the truth is, bamboo mites don't kill off bamboo. Hard to tell how mother nature would have resolved the problem. In addition, abuse of chemicals has caused problems but abuse of rhetoric isn't been so helpful either. Cheers.


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