Fuchsia Gall Mite
Fuchsia Gall Mite
Fuchsia Gall Mites are tiny arachnids in the family Eriophyidae. Gall mites are sap-sucking plant pests; Aculops fuchsiae specifically target the flowers and leaves of Fuchsia. Although too small to be seen without a microscope, the galled tissues that they create are often very distinctive and easily recognised. From late spring to summer, abnormal growths may appear on Fuschia plants. With Fuchsia Gall Mite, galls can arise on the leaves and flowers. Fuchsia Gall Mites bring about abnormal development in plants by secretion of chemicals when they feed. The mites use the galls as habitat space and food resource. In most cases, the flowers will fail to open. If plants are left infested for too long and not treated, their growth may be stunted, resulting in plant death in the worst cases.
Distortion of foliage and flowers.
Adults: The mites are microscopic, less than 0.25mm in length and thus cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are pale yellow-white in colour and have worm-like bodies with two pairs of front legs. Study of these pests is incomplete, it is possible they cannot survive freezing temperatures, therefore cold winters may eradicate these mites on hardy garden Fuchsias. They tend to overwinter underneath bud scales and can survive winters in glasshouses.
Buds, flowers and leaves lose colour. Curling leaf edges and blistering in foliage. Red-pink or yellow-green distorted tissue at the growing tips. Distortion and abnormal development of the flowers. Overall stunted growth. Plant death of untreated plants.
South America, North America, Europe and the UK
In most cases, this pest is not lethal to Fuchsia plants, but can strongly affect their appearance and growth. Damaged material should be pruned back to where it looks normal. Take care to dispose of infected material appropriately to avoid spreading the infection; it's advised to use council waste or burn affected plants. Some species and cultivars vary in their susceptibility to this pest, choose plants with higher resistance such as Fuchsia 'Baby Chang', Fuchsia 'Cinnabarina', Fuchsia 'Miniature Jewels', Fuchsia 'Space Shuttle', Fuchsia microphylla subsp. hidalgensis, Fuchsia thymifolia and Fuchsia venusta. Avoid more susceptible species such as Fuchsia arborescens, Fuchsia magellanica and Fuchsia procumbens.
There is currently no control or prevention available, these mites are tolerant of most home garden pesticide products.