How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Cyclamen mite—Phytonemus (Steneotarsonemus) pallidus

The cyclamen mite adult is tiny and pinkish orange. It is translucent in immature stages.

Identification of species

Cyclamen mites are very small so you need at least a 20X lens to see them. Don't confuse cyclamen mites with spider mites, which are rounder and larger, usually have two spots, and often produce webbing. Predatory mites are clear and move rapidly. The severe distortion caused by cyclamen mites is very different from spider mite damage. The presence of the tiny mites distinguishes this damage from that caused by virus and other foliar diseases.

Life cycle

The cyclamen mite lays its eggs on young, unfolding leaves at the crown of the plant. Adults overwinter in the crowns of strawberry plants and start reproducing when plants begin to grow in spring. A generation may be completed in 2 weeks, so populations can grow rapidly. Reproduction continues until October or November.

Damage

Mites feed on young, unfolding leaves at the crown of the plant. When the leaves emerge, they appear stunted, crinkled, and malformed. Leaf stems do not elongate. When the infestation is serious, the whole plant is dwarfed, leaves turn brownish green, and fruit are small, dry, and withered.

Solutions

The best way to manage cyclamen mite is to remove and destroy infested plants as soon as they are spotted. Establish new plantings from mite-free stock and never plant new plants near infested ones.

Cyclamen mite adult and eggs
Cyclamen mite adult and eggs

Mite-infested plants develop distorted leaves
Mite-infested plants develop distorted leaves


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