How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Tomato russet mite—Aculops lycopersici

Tomato russet mites are so tiny they cannot be seen without a hand lens. You will see the bronzing they cause on leaves first. Russet mites are conical in shape and yellowish, tan, or pink.

Identification of species


Leaves and stems damaged by mites develop a greasy appearance, then dry out and turn bronze. Damage starts at the base of the plant and moves upward. In hot weather when mite populations explode, plants may be defoliated.


Both sulfur dust and wettable sulfur are effective for russet mite control. Do not grow tomatoes near petunias or any solanaceous plants, such as potato, as they are other hosts of the russet mite.

Russet mites
Russet mites

Russet mite damage
Russet mite damage

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