How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Broad mitePolyphagotarsonemus latus
Cyclamen mite—Phytonemus pallidus

Cyclamen and broad mites are about one-fourth the size of spider mites and can't be seen without a microscope or a 20X magnifier. Adult cyclamen mites can be translucent white, pinkish orange, or pale yellow. Broad mites are often translucent, yellowish, or greenish, and female broad mites have a white stripe down the center of their back. Broad mites have a tapered body that is widest between their second pair of legs and more narrow toward the rear. Cyclamen mites have sides that are more nearly parallel, not sharply tapered.

Life cycle

Cyclamen and broad mites develop through four life stages: egg, nymph, pseudopupa, and adult. Cyclamen mite eggs are smooth pale ovals, about one-half the length of adults. Broad mite eggs are equally tiny, but are studded with rows of tiny pegs protruding from the egg’s upper surface. One generation is completed in about 5 to 21 days, depending on temperature. Cyclamen and broad mites do best under cool, moist conditions.


Cyclamen and broad mites infest many hosts such as begonia, dahlia, geranium, gerbera, and verbena. Infested leaves become cupped, curled, dwarfed, and thickened. Leaves or flowers may become discolored, bronzed, or stiff. Infested buds discolor, deform, or drop. Internodes may be short, giving plants a stunted or tufted appearance.


Broad and cyclamen mites are difficult to control with pesticides because they are protected from sprays by their habit of feeding in buds or within distorted tissue. Regularly inspect plants and disinfest or dispose of infested plants. Establish new plantings from mite-free stock and never plant new plants near infested ones. Predatory mites and sixspotted thrips may help limit populations.

Adult cyclamen mite
Adult cyclamen mite
Adult broad mite
Adult broad mite
Foliage damaged by cyclamen mite
Foliage damaged by cyclamen mite

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