A New Pest on the Scene: Red Palm Mite
Red Palm Mite (RPM) has been discovered in several areas of the City of Fort Lauderdale.
RPM is new to the United States and establishes itself on various palms, heliconias, bananas and gingers. Coconut palms seem to be one of the RPM favorite hosts.
The mite thrives on the underside of leaves and fronds. In high numbers, mites cause yellowing of the leaves followed by death of plant tissue. While the mites are very small, you can usually see them due to their large numbers on the underside side of the leaves. As their name indicates, they are bright red. If your palms or plants seem to have an unusually number of fronds or leaves dying, you may want to inspect the frond undersides closely. You can usually see the mites clearly with a magnifying glass.
Since it is a new pest, there are very few options available to homeowners at this time for treatment. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are the best options when applications are needed to prevent damaging population levels, but they only work if you can contact the mites with them. Always follow the label’s instructions. Professional Pest Control Companies will have access to other products that will effectively control the RPM.
If you have RPM, do not move the plant material from your property without taking precautions. Fronds and leaves with RPM should be doubled bagged in trash bags and placed in the garbage.
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