How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Wheat curl mite—Eriophyes tulipae

Wheat curl mites are microscopic white, wormlike organisms about 1/4 mm long. The legs are very small and located near the head. These mites feed on liliaceous bulbs, cereal grains, and wild grasses.


This mite is primarily a pest of stored bulbs; its feeding causes stored onions and garlic to desiccate. Wheat curl mite is a vector of rot-causing organisms in both the garden and storage. Heavy infestations result in streaking and twisting of garlic leaves and reduce plant stand as well as yield.


Gardens rotated into onions or garlic from corn may have higher levels of wheat curl mites. Flood irrigation or heavy winter rains may reduce populations. Avoid planting successive onion or garlic crops.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   Contact webmaster.