How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Brown mite—Bryobia rubrioculus

Adult brown mites are flattened and dark reddish brown, and the first pair of legs is longer than the other three pairs. Newly hatched mites are red with six legs; after the first molt they are brown with eight legs, resembling the adult.

Life cycle


Feeding by brown mites causes whitish gray spots to appear on leaves. No webbing is produced, and leaf drop rarely occurs. Affected leaves first become mottled, then bleached. Badly damaged foliage is smaller than normal and covered with minute flecks of dried feces.


Numerous predators feed on red mites. In-season sprays for brown mites are not usually necessary or advisable in the home orchard. A supreme or superior-type oil spray during the delayed dormant period just as eggs are about to hatch should keep mites below damaging levels, if predators are not disrupted by sprays for other pests.

Adult brown mite
Adult brown mite

Spots on leaf surface caused by brown mites
Spots on leaf surface caused by brown mites

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.