How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Brown Mite

Scientific Name: Bryobia rubrioculus

(Reviewed 11/09, updated 11/09, pesticides updated 9/15)

In this Guideline:

Description of the Pest

Brown mite eggs hatch in early spring. The newly hatched mites are red with six legs and after the first molt are brown with eight legs, resembling the adult. Adults are flattened with long front legs and are the largest in size of all cherry pest mites. Brown mites feed only during the cool parts of the day and night, and migrate off the leaves during midday. They are not active during hotter periods of the summer. There are two to three generations per year between February and June.


The brown mite can be an economic pest of cherries. Mite feeding causes chlorosis, but leaves rarely drop. Infestations are generally confined to a few trees or localized and tend to be more common in cherry trees located near almond orchards.


Predators will generally keep brown mite populations below damaging levels. Allowing low populations of brown mites in the orchard during spring enables mite predators to increase their population to levels that are more effective in controlling webspinning mites. Generally, hot weather and predators cause brown mite populations to decline in summer.

Biological Control

The western predatory mite and brown lacewing are both effective predators. It is important to avoid insecticides that kill these natural enemies.

Organically Acceptable Methods

Biological control and oil sprays are acceptable for use on an organically certified crop.

Treatment Decisions

When necessary, control these mites with a dormant spray. Occasionally there is an infestation during a cool spring when dormant treatments were inadequate.

Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
(Example trade name) (conc.) (dilute)
(hours) (days)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
Bee precaution pesticide ratings
The following are ranked with the pesticides having the greatest IPM value listed first—the most effective and least harmful to natural enemies, honey bees, and the environment are at the top of the table. When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to air and water quality, resistance management, and the pesticide's properties and application timing. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read the label of the product being used.
A. NARROW RANGE OIL# Label rates See label 0
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Cover all parts of the tree. Oil alone will control low to moderate infestations. Do not apply oils to water-stressed trees. Not all oils are organically acceptable; be sure to check individual products.
** For concentrate applications, use the amount given in 80–100 gal water/acre, or lower if the label allows; for dilute applications, amount is per 100 gal water to be applied in 300–400 gal water/acre, according to label.
Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (PHI) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.
1 Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action Group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action Group number more than twice per season to help prevent the development of resistance. For example, the organophosphates have a Group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B Group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a Group number other than 1B. Mode-of-action Group numbers are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at




[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cherry
UC ANR Publication 3440

Insects and Mites

J. A. Grant, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
J. L. Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
K. M. Daane, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
J. Colyn, Mid-Valley Ag. Services
M. Devencenzi, Devencenzi Ag. Pest Mgmt. and Research
P. McKenzie, Mid-Valley Ag. Services

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