Bamboo Pests And Diseases
Remarkably, bamboo in North America is usually pest and disease free. Bamboo is a strong and resilient plant and is more likely to die from lack or too much water. The most common pests are most likely biological and come in forms of insects such as aphids, scales, mealybugs and mites. For the most part, these pests can be controlled with non-chemical insecticidal soaps.
The Bamboo Mite is the one pest that is of most concern as they are very difficult to eradicate. Bamboo Mites live and colonize under the leaves where they form a white protective webbing. Underneath the leaves, Bamboo Mites suck the fluid out of the leaf. This leaves a pale, cream colored patch visible on the upper surface of the leaf. As the mites continue feeding, these markings become more prominent and can sometimes cover the whole entire leaf.
Bamboo Mites will not kill the bamboo, but will cause the foliage to become very unsitely if left untreated. If not treated, Bamboo Mites will infest other surrounding bamboos very quickly.
Bamboo Mites spread at alarming rates in environments that are very dry and warm. Watering your bamboo and spraying the foliage regularly will help suppress mite infestations. Thinning your bamboo will allow air flow and will also help alleviate the problem as well.
The Bamboo Mite has become increasingly prevalent in North America. Many nurseries selling bamboo do not seem to recognize the Bamboo Mite as a pest. This further fuels the problem causing more infestations as customers unwittingly purchase them and introduce them into their gardens. When purchasing bamboo, always be aware and inspect the leaves for any signs of Bamboo Mites.
Here at Bamboo Botanicals, our bamboos are bamboo mite free. We also regularly monitor all our bamboos with the utmost vigilance for any pests. In support of environmental practices, Bamboo Botanicals uses non-chemical forms of treatment if necessary.
Here are some very useful resources on Bamboo Mites:
- Bamboo Mite IPM - Robin Rosetta, Oregon State University
- Bamboo Spider Mites - Beveryly S. Gerdeman & Lynell K. Tanigoshi, Washington State University
- Bamboo Spider Mites - Dr. Jack DeAngelis, Living With Bugs
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