How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pest identification and confirmation—Tomato russet mite

Tomato russet mites are very small -- only about 0.2 mm long, so you need at least a 14X lens to see them. Damage would first be present mid- to late summer when plants are half-grown or longer. Damage typically begins on stems and spreads upward. Fruit are usually not attached, but defoliation may expose them to sunburn. If you see damaged leaves, check them for mites. Also check some green leaves just above damaged ones; the mites may move up the plant above the most obvious damage.

Don't confuse russet mites with spider mites, which are rounder and larger, usually have two spots, and often produce webbing. Predatory mites are clear and move rapidly.

Hand lens
Inspect leaves with a hand lens for mites
Webbing of leaves
Webbing of leaves
Spider mite
Spider mite


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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