Palm mite Minimize

March 2005. The palm mite has been reported from the eastern Caribbean, namely, Martinique and Saint Lucia, and perhaps it is present in Dominica. St Lucia would like to conduct an island-wide survey to determine the species of palm attacked, the levels of infestation, the presence of natural enemies and whether any palm varieties are showing resistance or tolerance. What would be a a good sample size and how many trees per acre need to be sampled. Additionally, what are the management options. Any Information on identification, survey methods, host range, natural enemies and other management methods would be most welcome.

In India, the mite is managed using neem oil mixed with sulphur after thorough cleaning of the crown. It should be sprayed from above, 5 to 6 times per year. This is possible with a spray-head attached to a long pole. About 400 trees per day can be covered by a team of two people. Yield increases in the first year is about 25%. Under Indian conditions, it is a highly profitable method compared to synthetic chemical treatments. The use of diazophos was not very successful. Drilling holes and inserting systemic pesticide or feeding systemic pesticides through tubes attached to roots also lead to problems (fungal diseases).

The Crop Protection Compendium lists Amblyseius channabasavanni (attacking nymphs, adults) and Stethorus keralicus (attacking nymphs, adults) as predators of Raoiella indica

A short list of publications on Raoiella indica:

Daniel M, Kumar TP (1976) Pests of arecanut. Journal of Plantation Crops 4(2): 68-77.

Devasahayam S, Nair CPR (1982) Insect pest management in arecanut. Indian Farming 32(9): 44-46.

Saradamma, K (1973) Evaluation of the toxicity of some pesticides to the red mite on coconut, Raoiella indica (Hirst.) (Hytoptipalpidae). Research Journal of Kerala 10(1): 61-62.

Sarkar PK, Somchoudhury AK (1988) Evaluation of some pesticides against Raoiella indica Hirst. on coconut palm in West Bengal. Pesticides 22(10): 21-22

Sarkar PK, Somchoudhury AK (1989) Interrelationship between plant characters and incidence of Raoiella indica Hirst. on coconut Indian Journal of Entomology
51(1): 45-50.

Shashi Kanta, Rai BK, Lal R (1963) Laboratory evaluation of the toxicity of pesticides to palm mite Raoiella indica Hirst. Indian Coconut J. 16: 63-66.

Raju DS (1983) A note on major pest problems of cashew, coconut and arecanut and their control in Goa. Proceedings of the Second Annual Symposium on Plantation Crops.

There are reports of coconut palm yellowing in St Lucia that some entomologists have attributed to scale insect (see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CICLY/message/1865, for example).

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