UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Brown mite eggs and adults.


Brown Mite

Scientific name: Bryobia rubrioculus

(Reviewed 11/07, updated 11/07)

In this Guideline:


The brown mite can be an economic pest of apricots. It is the largest of all apricot pest mites. Brown mite eggs hatch in early spring and the newly hatched mites are red with six legs. After the first molt they are brown with eight legs and resemble the adult. Adults are flattened with long front legs. The mites feed only during the cool parts of the day, and migrate off the leaves during midday. They are not active during hotter periods of the summer. There are two to three generations per year between February and June.


Brown mite is seldom a pest; itsfeeding causes yellowing of the foliage, but leaves rarely drop. Infestations are generally confined to a few trees or localized.


Predators will generally keep brown mite populations below damaging levels. Allowing low populations of brown mites in the orchard during spring enables mite predators to increase their population to levels that are more effective in controlling webspinning mites. Generally, hot weather and predators cause brown mite populations to decline in summer.

Biological Control
The western predatory mite and brown lacewing are both effective predators, but alone may not control brown mite populations. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid insecticides that will kill these natural enemies.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Biological control and oil sprays are acceptable for use on organically grown apricots.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
These mites are generally controlled by a dormant spray of oil. Occasionally there may be an infestation during a cool spring when dormant treatments were inadequate.

Common name Amount to Use** R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name) (conc.) (dilute) (hours) (days)

Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to the impact on natural enemies and honey bees and environmental impact. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
A. NARROW RANGE OIL# 4–8 gal 1.5–2 gal 4 0
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Cover all parts of the tree. Oil alone will control low to moderate infestations. Do not apply oil to water-stressed trees. Some of the new lower-chilling varieties, especially Poppycot, can be highly susceptible to oil damage. Use extreme care when applying oil to these varieties. Check with certifier to determine which products are organically acceptable.
Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) 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.
** For concentrate applications, use the amount given in 80-100 gal water/acre or lower if the label allows; for dilute application, amount is per 100 gal water to be applied in 300-400 gal water/acre, according to label.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Apricot
UC ANR Publication 3433
Insects and Mites
W. W. Coates, UC Cooperative Extension, San Benito County
R. A. Van Steenwyk, Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
W. J. Bentley, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
K. R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
K. A. Kelley, UC Cooperative Extension, Stanislaus County
J. L. Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:
L. C. Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r5400111.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.