Citrus Mites

Aceria Sheldoni

Citrus Mites, also known as Citrus Bud Mites, are mites that are found on citrus varieties including lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit. It is a worldwide pest that causes the deformation of citrus flowers, leaves and fruit.

The mites themselves are tiny, measuring approximately 0.15mm long, and are almost unrecognisable to the naked eye. When spotted, they are pink in colour and are most active in late spring to early autumn but will also overwinter on plants if not treated.

A single female will lay approximately 50 eggs in her life which will hatch between a 2-5 day period. Individual mites will live up to 10 days in summer and around 20 days in winter.

Deformation on fruit caused by citrus mites is easily recognisable due to its twisted skin. This makes a normal lemon look a little like a citrus ‘Bhuddahs Hand’, with abnormal growth at the bottom of the citrus fruit. When cut in half, parts of the fruit may be spoilt.

However, if the fruit is not spoilt it can still be eaten, but the skin is not considered good for zesting.

PREVENTION

Citrus mites are more attracted to weakened plants. Make sure you feed your citrus well between spring and autumn, and water well during spring and autumn. Mulch well to help keep moisture within the soil.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Treat infected plants with Yates Nature’s Way Citrus, Vegie and Ornamental spray, or alternatively, use Conqueror Oil.

Make sure to spray these in the evening, taking off any citrus flowers as not to affect beneficial insects.

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