Skip to main content
link to fruits section
->Home > factsheets > treefruit > pests > erm

Insert for: Achieving Biological Control of European Red Mite in Northeast Apples: An Implementation Guide for Growers

Monitoring European Red Mite in Apples

Damage by European red mites (ERM) to apple leaves is best related to cumulative mite density, which is measured as mite-days. Apple trees with a normal crop load can tolerate approximately 500 mite-days before reductions in fruit yield or quality occur. Therefore, one goal of any mite monitoring program is to ensure that miticide treatments are recommended so as to prevent 500 mite-days from occurring. Another goal of a mite monitoring program is to allow biological control to take its course when mite natural enemies (phytoseiid mites) are present. So, a mite monitoring program should not recommend intervention with pesticides when treatments are not necessary. A final goal of a mite monitoring program is to indicate when the pest population should again be sampled to determine its status. If, at the time of sampling, mite densities are very low, then it is not necessary to sample the population again in a short period of time. On the other hand, if densities are currently close to but not greater than a treatment threshold, the population should be assessed again in a short period of time. The monitoring program described here meets these goals.

This monitoring procedure classifies ERM density into one of three categories:

  1. greater than treatment threshold, indicating application of a miticide is necessary,
  2. less than treatment threshold, but requiring assessment again in about 7 days,
  3. much less than a treatment threshold and not requiring assessment again for 14 days.

ERM are small and often numerous. This makes counting these pests a tedious and often difficult task. For monitoring purposes, it is only necessary to record the number of leaves infested with 1 or more motile mites. A mathematical relationship between the proportion of infested leaves and actual density can then be used to classify mite density. Because higher mite numbers can be tolerated as the season progresses, three sampling procedures are used at different times of the growing season; one each for June, July and August with treatment threshold of 2.5, 5, and 7.5 mites per leaf , respectively.

The sampling guides are used as follows:

Relative Toxicity of pesticides1 to the mite predator, Typhlodromus pyri.

Materials with a low toxicity can be used when needed. Pesticides with moderate toxicity should be used sparingly. Those with high toxicity must be avoided. Refer to your State Extension Pesticide Recommendations for ratings of relative efficacy and application timing for specific target pests.


Low toxicity

Moderate toxicity

High toxicity

Apple scab

Nova, Rubigan, or Procure in combination with captan

mancozeb or metiram (EBDC fungicides) before bloom

mancozeb or metiram (EBDC fungicides), or Ziram after bloom

Powdery mildew

Nova, Rubigan, Procure, Bayleton, sulfur



Fire blight

Fixed copper, streptomycin



Black rot

captan, benomyl or Topsin M

mancozeb or metiram before bloom

mancozeb or metiram after bloom

Sooty blotch and

fly speck

benomyl, Topsin M, captan


mancozeb, metiram or Ziram after bloom

Rust disease

Nova, Rubigan, Procure, or Bayleton

mancozeb or metiram before bloom

mancozeb or metiram after bloom

Rosy apple aphid

Thiodan or Provado


Lannate, Vydate, dimethoate

Tarnished plant bug




Spotted tentiform leafminer



pyrethroids, Vydate, Lannate

Codling moth

azinphos-methyl, Imidan, Penncap M, B.t.


Lannate, dimethoate

Green fruitworm



pyrethroids, Lannate

Obliquebanded leafroller

B.t., Confirm, spinosad, Penncap M


Lannate, pyrethroids

Plum curculio

azinphos-methyl Imidan, Penncap M, carbaryl




Provado, Thiodan, Sevin


Lannate, dimethoate, Carzol, Vydate

Apple aphids, spirea aphids

Provado, Thiodan


dimethoate, Lannate, Vydate

Apple maggot

azinphos-methyl, Imidan, Penncap M


Lannate, dimethoate

European red mites

prebloom oil, Savey, Apollo, Pyramite, Vendex

Agri-mek, summer oil, Kelthane


1 Check EPA and state registration status by contacting local Cooperative Extension representative. Registration status is changing annually and is not universal across all state lines. Use of product names does not imply endorsement of particular products. Read all labels for rates and timing.

For an updated version of this insert, contact Deborah I. Breth, CCE, PO Box 150, Albion, NY,14411

Deborah I. Breth, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Lake Ontario Fruit Program
Jan Nyrop, Dept. of Entomology, NYSAES, Cornell University
Joseph Kovach, NYS IPM Program, Cornell University