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List of garden pests : Big bud mite

Tiny mites feed inside the buds of blackcurrants, causing the tissues to swell. The bud, normally elongated, takes on a rounded shape. Swollen buds are most noticeable in winter. In spring, they usually fail to open.

The direct damage – reducing the number of fruiting buds – is usually not too serious. However, the mites spread ‘reversion’, the most serious virus disease of blackcurrants, by migrating from the swollen buds at around flowering time. Leaving a bush with the virus disease and moving to a healthy one, they bring particles of virus with them.

The best way of controlling them is to pick off all swollen buds during the winter and burn them. Over a few years, this will achieve control.

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