Agriculture: Fig Pest Management Guidelines

Fig Mite

  • Aceria fici
  • Description of the Pest

    The fig mite is a widely distributed, microscopic mite (0.003 to 0.005 inch long) that has two pairs of legs near the anterior end of a wedge-shaped, pale yellow body.


    The fig mite infests bud scales and young leaves. Feeding causes a faint russetting of the leaves, generally in the interior portion of the canopy and may result in leaf drop and stunting of twigs. More importantly, this mite transmits the fig mosaic virus. The virus is not present in the egg stage of the mite, but once acquired through feeding is retained through molts.


    To help reduce virus transmission, monitor leaves about a month after they emerge (May) to detect fig mites. Use a 20X hand lens to examine leaves. Treat when foliage damage appears. A second application may be necessary.

    Common name Amount to use REI‡ PHI‡
    (Example trade name) (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.
    A. SULFUR# 40 lb 24 0
      MODE OF ACTION: Unknown. An inorganic insecticide.
    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.
    Text Updated: 01/09
    Treatment Table Updated: 01/09