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Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:58 pm
by IslandBooGuy
Alas, my boos have them....last year I only noticed them on one plant (all mine are in containers around the yard), at which point I decided to try to get rid of them via cutting and bagging any and all foliage showing even marginal potential for infestation.
Well this year they have spread to a majority of my plants and I have to assume they are on the rest but those plants are not showing signs yet.
Couple of I've read through some most recent threads regarding this pest, it seems that nobody has reported any positive final results with their battles.

I'm in Canada so I expect to have some issues finding a decent miticide to help me here but maybe some folks from Canada could post what they have found and where they bought from?

Also wondering if since winter is coming and all my plants are in containers, a feasible option is to cut, bag and dispose of all top foliage? Drastic, but if it will best help me get rid of the mites and not do irreparable harm to the plants I am willing to take the plunge.

All opinions welcome as the more reading I do, the more concerned I am that I'll never be rid of the mites. Please, any input is helpful...

Re: Mites

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:05 pm
by johnw
Got a F. robusta from a nursery in Chilliwack in 2003 and it was lousy with bamboo mites. I cut the tops to the ground and set them afire. The webs on the leaves are impervious to contact sprays and be aware those mites also make webs on and colonize the underground rhizomes. A friend with a sprayer's licence repeatedly drenched the soil for about 2 months using a different systemic each time, I didn't care how strong or frequent - kill or cure. The plant was later moved to the fog belt here where it recuperated mite-free. A subsequent shipment from a nursery in the Portland area in 2013 was the same despite assurances to the contrary, another fire and a vow never to import bamboos from the west coast again. I assume the low summer humidity in the west is the perfect bamboo mite environment.

Have not seen them in the UK but have in Europe.

Seems they are a fact of life out there. Birds are said to be a vector. I'll post a shot of a Fargesia murielae in Vancouver, BC - it's enough to ready the flame thrower.

I'd be interested to hear of anyone in the east who is battling bamboo mites; I've not seen any postings on the subject.


Re: Mites

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:09 pm
by IslandBooGuy
Thanks John,
I forgot to mention that a few of my plants are fairly small having been divided just this past winter. I also have some that are needing division this coming winter. None of my plants are showing like the poor plant in your picture and I really don't want them to look like that.

At this point I have further separated the obviously infested from the ones that look ok. Went to one garden centre with a license to sell pesticides. Staff weren't a lot of help but I picked up a bottle of Safer's Miticide concentrate and Malathion(sp?) 50% concentrate for mixing....

I'm discouraged to hear that the mites will live on the rhizomes as well, which seems a whole other type of battle.

I'm certainly not eager to have to wage war year after year due to mite migration with birds either.....

Hoping that through some educated experimentation this winter I may be successful. Thinking to in fact treat all boos to at least a serious pruning combined with a root soak and repot to clean environment. I'm only dealing with about 15 pots total so I hope to get them done in short order, and follow up with treatment every 7-10 days of remaining foliage and preemptive treatment of shoots come spring/early summer. My Scabridas shoot late February/ early march here.

Again, would like to hear feedback on the Safers and Malathion and/or availability of any other pesticides available OTC in Canada.

Re: Mites

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:38 pm
by johnw
Rick - Sorry to hear your infestation is bad.

Both the Safers and Malathion are contact sprays so they will not penetrate the impervious web for which the bamboo mite is so notorious. I don't believe there are any chems avail to the general public anymore that are effective. (Never use Sevin (carbaryl) as it is used on conifers to test for red spider mite damage susceptibility, it actually wipes out the predators and causes the rsm population to sky rocket. Likely the same for bm)

Try to find a local greenhouse has a sprayer's licence that will drench your plants with a systemic miticide though the literature in not terribly reassuring on their effect. Forumist Van-Isle is in Nanaimo and may be able to suggest such a nursery.


Re: Mites

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:25 pm
by Alan_L
It seems strange to me that the mites live on the rhizomes underground too. Are there studies about this, or have you witnessed it yourself? They feed by sucking the contents of leaf cells, and there are no leaves underground... :?:

Re: Mites

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:23 pm
by Tarzanus
If in fact they would be attached to rhizomes, I doubt they could live long enough to see the light of day again after a good week of rain or constant automatic watering and possibly applying mulch that would additionally increase humidity. All mites are 'allergic' to humidity and I think roots/rhizomes are not the best place for them to stay. Perhaps in overly dry soil, I don't know.

BTW... Pictures of horror. I'm glad you got rid of them!

Re: Mites

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:44 pm
by johnw
Apparently Oregon State-USDA research does not jive with what the ABS says, the latter there are no mites on rhizomes. See here what USDA says: ... ltural.htm

That BM web is mighty impervious and I can easily see how rhizome mites under tight rhizome sheaths in the upper level of the soil could survive, even as eggs - within the web, especially so in containerized plants where drainage is optimal.

I was surprised to read in the ABS article on mites: "With many years of experience in the bamboo groves and nurseries of California, the author had not seen bamboo mites until a visit to the Pacific Northwest." I would have thought southern California would be ideal mite territory but can't recall seeing them at Quail Botanic Gardens, even brought back bamboos from them. Seems the PNW is the hotbed and I suspect the EU as well.


Re: Mites

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:22 pm
by dependable
Has anyone ever tried an over the counter systemic such as Bayer Tree & Shrub for mites? Have not had to deal with mites, but this works on other persistent pests like woolly adelgid. I believe it is a neonicotinoid, which should not be a huge environmental problem if used on non flowering plants, when needed.

Re: Mites

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:38 pm
by johnw
dp - Imidacloprid is not registered for the control of spider mites, several documents even report an increase of mites after its application. So guess bamboo mites would also be unaffected. ... 224&Type=2

or Google:

Effects of Imidacloprid on Spider Mite - Arboriculture & Urban Forestry

A couple of years ago someone out west (Victoria was it?) reported Avid was losing its effect on bamboo mites. A real challenge if using a contact is getting the miticide to the web on leaf undersides and then what?

There was hope a new predator of the bamboo mite would get approval in the USA but nothing so far here in Canada.


Re: Mites

Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:45 pm
by IslandBooGuy
Thanks again for the info everyone....hoping van-isl would chime in with some results of her trials.....I'm not a fan of chemical warfare and I'm now leaning toward biological control methods. At the end of the day the damage done by these mites so far is more nuisance than anything....however if even some control to population can be found I'd be pleased with that...

Re: Mites

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:39 pm
by Van-isle-bamboo
Sorry I’m a little late to chime in.

Best scenario is to go down to the USA and buy all the chemicals needed. As far as I know it’s not illegal to travel with them across the boarder too. I don’t thing that the boarder guards even have the right to take the chemicals away from you if they are found or declared..... your choice.

I tried predators from applied bionomics in Victoria. That was a total waste of 1000$ over two years. I wrote them in regards to the effectiveness and they were very vague and wouldn’t back up their product. Hence to refund. Definitely that place is a joke.

I went to straight chemicals after that. A rotation of avid ( generic kind because it was way cheaper online ), judo ( super crazy expensive ) and I have some talstar which is really good but it’s only a contact spray. Oregon state said talstar was the most effective actually. It also does wonders for weavles haha.

I must also admit that I only will spray on the early early spring or late late fall because of all the other insects out that I don’t want to affect. Also the bees are around in summer and I don’t want to affect them too. You need dry conditions after spraying for 2 days so it’s a gamble sometimes in our climate weather the rain will hold off in those months too

In my backpack sprayer I use 1/2 cup of canola oil and the sale of liquid soap. The container is about 15l.

Make sure you clean up ALL the leaf debris and limb up the culms to about 3’ around the base before you start.

I go two applications of avid 5 days apart then 2 of judo 5 days apart.

As you may know different chemicals target different stages of life. Some work ok adults and some work on eggs.

Best best thing to do when buying new Bamboo is to spray right away and isolate it before exposing it to the existing landscape. This will ensure you don’t bring in new Bamboo mites.

FYI I don’t think I’ve seen a Bamboo nursery mite free ever and I’ve been down to Oregon as well. Do your due diligence and spray like I’ve mentioned.

Hope this helps.

Re: Mites

Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 10:54 pm
by fredgpops
Not to denigrate posters - I had a major infestation a couple of years ago and I targeted wholesale and retail bamboo growers for help. I sent pictures to about 5 growers and they all agreed on the problem (bamboo mites). They did not all agree on the solution but I was able to research each solution and test each one. Most growers have just about seen it all and have tried it all and most are helpful. They are a great resource. My end source was a grower in Alabama ( I'm in California) who gave me the best advice/solution. Again, lots of folks with lots of experience are on this site to help so pursue it. Just an additional approach to solve problems. Rgds

Re: Mites

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:52 pm
by Tarzanus
This year, my bamboos got infested by bamboo mites. It wasn't bad until latw summer, early fall. Phyllostachys aurea and Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' are being hit the most. I have no idea where these suckers came from, there are not many bamboos around, at least not that I'm aware of. I suspect birds brought it from somewhere.

I'm not sure what to do. Both bamboos are too large for me to spray them, besides, I would have to spray the heck out of them, plus all the other bamboos which also started showing signs of mite infection. I'm thinking about mowing everything down to the ground and hope the mites cease to exist (with some help from insecticide).