Tomato russet mite

Scientific name

Aculops lycopersici

Description of adult

Russet mites are 0.15–0.2mm long and 0.05mm wide. A hand lens is needed to see these mites.

Host range

Tomato, chilli and capsicum.


Feeding by nymphs and adults of the tomato russet mite Aculops lycopersici causes loss of plant hairs, bronzing of the stem and death of lower leaves. Fruit ripen unevenly and immature fruit have greenish white spots. Infestations are worst in warm dry weather.



Maintain good farm hygiene and destroy old crops and weeds. Mites spread on the wind and are carried on clothing, machinery and insects. Check that seedlings are not infested before transplanting. Do not plant downwind of infested plantings.


Spray with an appropriate chemical.

Check the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your location. Always read the label and observe withholding periods.