Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Citrus rust mite (344)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Citrus species. An important microscopic mite.
  • Rind slightly rough, silvery (grapefruit and lemons), reddish or black (oranges). Small fruit, which stores poorly. Foliage turns bronze with heavy infestations. Worse on fruit on outside of tree. 
  • Eggs in pits in leaves or stems; nymphs and adults similar: yellowish, wedge-shaped; adults 0.15 mm long.
  • Spread in rain splash, and over greater distances on wind currents, on birds, insects, machinery, clothing, or in the plant trade.
  • Natural enemies: predatory mites (Amblyseius).
  • Cultural control: none.
  • Chemical control: use pesticides if damage is severe - use lime sulphur or wettable sulphur, leaving 30 days if also spraying oils (READ INSTRUCTIONS); alternatively, spot-spray with soap solution, horticultural or white oils (see Fact Sheet no. 56); or use abamectin. Avoid malathion and synthetic pyrethroids; they will kill predatory mites.
Common Name

Citrus rust mite

Scientific Name

Phyllocoptrata oleivora; previously known as Eriophyes oleivorus.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson and Mani Mua
1Information from Swaine G (1971) Agricultural Zoology in Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and CABI (2017) Phyllocoptrata oleivora (citrus rust mite) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Mite pests of citrus (1983) Agfacts NSW Agriculture. (; and Using petroleum-based spray oils in citrus (2005) Agfacts NSW Agriculture. (; and from Citrus rust mite (silver mite) UC/IPM. Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources. ( Photo 1 Don Ferrin, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Photo 2 Florida Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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