Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Tomato red spider mite (477)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Worldwide distribution. In Australia, New Zealand, but NOT in Pacific island countries.
  • Serious pest, mainly Solanaceae. White speckling of leaves; later, as populations increase, webbing on undersides and leaves turn yellowish then brown and fall. Females about 0.5mm, oval, orange-red; males smaller.
  • Spread: carried on wind, water, clothing and tools, and via domestic and international trade in plants. When food depleted, mites congregate at tops of plants awaiting dispersal.
  • Biosecurity: quarantines for trade in fresh fruit and living plants.
  • Natural enemies: ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae, pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, and predatory thrips.
  • Cultural control: weed, especially potato family; check nursery plants before replanting out; avoid water-stressed plants; use mulches; avoid planting next to mite-infested crops or planting downwind from those infested; plough in or collect and burn debris after harvest.
  • Chemical control: (i) use soap, white or horticultural oils; (ii) sulphur; or (iii) abamectin. Avoid organophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids.

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