How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Citrus bud mite—Eriophyes sheldoni

Severely deformed foliage, blossoms, or fruit are the first clues to bud mite infestations. Citrus bud mite is very small, elongated, and somewhat tapered at the posterior end, and has four legs at the front end near the mouth. It feeds within buds and is difficult to see.

Identification of species

Damage

Citrus bud mites feed inside the buds, killing them or causing a rosettelike growth of the subsequent foliage and distortion of flowers and fruit, which may or may not reduce yield. They are a problem especially on lemons along the coast.

Solutions

In backyard situations, predatory mites usually keep bud mites under fairly good control. Petroleum oil sprays applied prior to bloom may provide some control of citrus bud mites. Late-fall oil sprays may also provide control of mites; however, once fruit is set, damage has already occurred and cannot be corrected.

Bud mites feed inside
Bud mites feed inside developing buds
Misshapen fruit
Misshapen fruit
Distorted blossoms
Distorted blossoms

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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