Agriculture: Citrus Pest Management Guidelines

Citrus Flat Mite

  • Brevipalpus lewisi
  • Description of the Pest

    The flat mite is a minor pest of citrus in the desert regions and interior valleys. The adult is much smaller than the citrus red mite, is flat, and often appears salmon colored but color varies. The flat mite is usually a secondary invader, feeding on rind tissue damaged by leafhopper feeding, thrips feeding or oviposition (egg laying), or wind.


    Citrus flat mite feeding results in a scabbing of the injury caused by thrips and leafhoppers, which would otherwise disappear as the fruit change color. The flat mite is fairly heat tolerant, so populations persist during the hot summer, July through September. It can be found in the winter in low numbers hiding in crevasses and buds.


    No treatment thresholds have been established. Treat when high mite numbers appear and monitoring for fruit scarring indicates a need. Citrus flat mites are fairly easy to control using miticides, and are especially sensitive to sulfur.

    Biological Control

    A number of predators attack Citrus flat mites, including predatory mites, lacewings, and predacious thrips.

    Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (type of coverage)** (hours) (days)
    Not all registered pesticides are listed. 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. Always read the label of the product being used.
    Label rates (OC or IC) 24 0
    RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites and citrus thrips); Natural enemies: most
    PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
    MODE OF ACTION: Not available
    COMMENTS: For use on all varieties. Apply from Oct. through May when monitoring indicates a need. Do not apply more than 6 lb per 100 gal water. Do not apply during or preceding high temperatures. Do not apply sulfur within two months of a previous oil spray, and do not apply oil 60 to 90 days after a sulfur application. Not recommended for use in the San Joaquin Valley.
    (Envidor 2SC) See comments 12 7
    RANGE OF ACTIVITY: Pests: narrow (mites); Natural enemies: predatory mites
    PERSISTENCE: Pests: intermediate; Natural enemies: intermediate
    COMMENTS: Make no more than one application per crop season. Application rate is 12 to 20 fl oz/acre (OC or IC) when horticultural spray oil is not used, and 18 to 20 fl oz/acre (OC or IC) when it is. Sprays without oil are most effective.
    ** OC - Outside coverage uses 100 to 250 gal water/acre.
    IC - Intermediate coverage uses 250 to 600 gal/acre.
    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 ("un" = unknown or uncertain mode of action) are assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee).
    Text Updated: 02/17
    Treatment Table Updated: 02/17