Tomato russet mite

Scientific name

Aculops lycopersici

Description of adult

Russet mites are 0.15-0.2 mm long and 0.05 mm wide. A hand lens is needed to see these mites.

Host range

Tomato, chilli and capsicum.

Damage

Feeding by nymphs and adults of the tomato russet mite Aculops lycopersici causes loss of plant hairs, bronzing of the stem and death of lower leaves. Fruit ripen unevenly and immature fruit have greenish white spots. Infestations are worst in warm dry weather.

Control options

Cultural

Maintain good farm hygiene and destroy old crops and weeds. Mites spread on the wind and are carried on clothing, machinery and insects. Check that seedlings are not infested before transplanting. Do not plant downwind of infested plantings.

Chemical

Spray with an appropriate chemical.

Chemical registrations and permits

Check the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority chemical database and permit database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your State/location. Always read the label. Always observe withholding periods.