Worldwide distribution. In Oceania. Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea. Citrus, particularly, lemons and navel oranges. In Fiji, occasionally severe on lemons.
Damage: feeds in leaf and flower buds resulting in thickening, twisting and bunching of leaves, deformed blossoms, and longitudinal grooves in rind of fruit. Can cause dieback and fruit drop. May worsen damage by other insects (mealybugs and spider mites). Up to 100 mites per bud.
Adults creamish, 0.16 mm, cylindrical, two pairs of legs at the front.
Spread: rain-splash, wind, birds, insects, machinery, clothing, trade in plants.
Natural enemies: possibly, predatory mites.
Cultural control: monitor growth and prune infested shoots; collect and burn prunings.
Chemical control: pesticides if damage severe - use lime sulphur (polysulphide) 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 abamectin. Avoid malathion and synthetic pyrethroids; they will kill predatory mites.