How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific Name: Bryobia rubrioculus
(Reviewed 11/09, updated 11/09)
In this Guideline:
Description of the Pest
Brown mite eggs hatch in early spring. The newly hatched mites are red with six legs and after the first molt are brown with eight legs, resembling the adult. Adults are flattened with long front legs and are the largest in size of all cherry pest mites. Brown mites feed only during the cool parts of the day and night, and migrate off the leaves during midday. They are not active during hotter periods of the summer. There are two to three generations per year between February and June.
The brown mite can be an economic pest of cherries. Mite feeding causes chlorosis, but leaves rarely drop. Infestations are generally confined to a few trees or localized and tend to be more common in cherry trees located near almond orchards.
Predators will generally keep brown mite populations below damaging levels. Allowing low populations of brown mites in the orchard during spring enables mite predators to increase their population to levels that are more effective in controlling webspinning mites. Generally, hot weather and predators cause brown mite populations to decline in summer.
The western predatory mite and brown lacewing are both effective predators. It is important to avoid insecticides that kill these natural enemies.
Organically Acceptable Methods
Biological control and oil sprays are acceptable for use on an organically certified crop.
When necessary, control these mites with a dormant spray. Occasionally there is an infestation during a cool spring when dormant treatments were inadequate.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and Mites
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites: