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.