Going into July, he says, “It has been a fairly light year for spider mites. We actually started spraying more in the hills than in the Delta. The rains gave us a bit of a reprieve, but we started to see more applications going out in July.”

A warning about spider mites, Catchot says: “We know that there is resistance of this pest to abamectin in Mississippi and Louisiana. Failures and resistance have already been documented in Louisiana this year, and we documented it in Mississippi last year. While abamectin is by far the cheapest product for spider mites, and it’s what everyone gravitates to, there are other options.

“Our recommended rate for all the generics, the EC 1.5 percent loaded formulations, is 10 ounces to 12 ounces. But, for Syngenta’s SC formulation, it’s 2.1 to 2.6 ounces, so be sure you know which formulation you’re using.”

In 2006, when the abamectin products first came out, Catchot says, “we were using only a 4 ounce rate — now, we’re up to 10 or 12 ounces. If you have a failure with abamectin, do not spray it again. Last year, we had people who had failures, and they went back with it, and then went back again with failures each time. Don’t do that.

“You have other choices. Portal, a Nichino product, at 1 pint, is a great option. Zeal, a Valent product, looks really good at 2/3 ounce to 1 ounce, and Oberon by Bayer is a good choice, if it’s available. These will cost more, but if you have an abamectin failure, use one of these instead of repeating the abamectin application.

“I wouldn’t be afraid to start treating with abamectin at a high rate, but if you have a failure, switch to something else quickly. Switch off quickly anyway if you have to come back a few weeks later because that population will have been selected possibly for abamectin resistance from the earlier application and likelihood of control failures will increase after the first application."