my clumping bamboo (rufa) looks like it has bamboo mites what should I do?
Washington County Oregon
Mites in the genus Schizotetranychus may attack bamboo. Because you didn’t send any images, I suggest you see if your bamboo currently appears the same as, or similar to, these images: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/nurspest/Bamboo/damage.htm.
If your bamboo are, indeed, infested by bamboo mites, I encourage you to explore the links at the left side of the above page. Begin with the safest method available, including one or more of the strategies listed at the link to “Cultural Control.” Severe infestations can be treated by cutting down all cane growth on infested plants and burning or otherwise disposing of the foliage.
Managing bamboo mites depends strongly on cultural practices. These mites only feed on bamboo. So, new infestations can be avoided by carefully inspecting all new bamboo you may acquire for the mites. Quarantine (isolate) all new plants you obtain via sales, trades, or gifts to avoid spread of bamboo mites to your current plants.
On the above page, the link for “Biological Control” is for large scale commercial growers. It’s challenging for home gardeners to correctly time introducing beneficial organisms.
If you’re considering chemical control, it’s useful to know that the "Chemical Control" link on the above page suggests chemicals available to large-scale, commercial growers, not home gardeners.
Home gardeners may choose from most miticides available in local garden centers. Many products must be directed at the mites. So, it’s worth knowing that bamboo mites live on the underside of the leaves, sheltered somewhat by their webbing, as they feed on the leaves, removing the chlorophyll, the green stuff in the foliage.