Birch budgall mite
Bud, Annual shoot
Damage, symptoms and biology
The birch budgall mite is a microscopic mite. The nymph and adult stages suck the sap from the twigs at the base of the buds, inducing the formation of rosette-like galls, which consist of clusters of aborted buds. On severely attacked birches, the abnormal profusion of buds causes a reduction in foliage density. The damage then becomes very apparent, particularly in late summer.
The birch budgall mite overwinters as a nymph in bark crevices or near buds and begins to emerge on the first warm days of April.
Life cycle (East of the Rockies)
When populations are large, the aesthetic value of ornamental trees may be affected. Early in the season, look for abnormal clusters of buds, and cut out and burn affected twigs.
Canadian Forest Service Publications
Diet and feeding behaviour
: Feeds on plant sap.
- Piercing-sucking: Has specialized mouthparts for sucking the fluids from plants, thereby causing deformities or killing the affected plant sections.
Information on host(s)
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