WSU Extension


Strawberry : Mites
(revision date: 3/22/2021)

Cyclamen mites and two-spotted spider mites can be pests on strawberries. Cyclamen mites are microscopic, amber, oval mites typically found in the crown of the plant on the new growth. Young leaves on infested plants are stunted and deformed, often appearing crinkled or blistered. Severe infestations cause the new growth to become brownish-green in color. Flower buds and runners are also damaged, and the fruits are small, dry, and misshapen. Adult female cyclamen mites overwinter on or near the host plant. Two-spotted spider mites feed on the underside of leaves. Characteristic symptoms of infestation include brownish speckling or stippling of leaves and webbing beneath infested leaves. Damaged leaves often turn reddish or brown, dry up, and drop from the plant. Adults overwinter in buds or in leaf debris. Hot, dry, dusty conditions favor spider mites.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant clean, uninfested plant materials.
  • Provide proper culture. Healthy plants are more tolerant of damage, while drought-stressed plants are more susceptible.
  • Predatory mites and insects such as ladybird beetles and green lacewings aid in control of mite populations. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficials.
  • Hose spider mites from plants with a strong stream of water, if practical.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage spider mite reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer when practical.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply when mites are present or when stippling becomes apparent.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bonide Mite X RTU
    Active ingredient: clove oil, cottonseed oil, garlic oil/powder  |  EPA reg no: 4-04001
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium salts of fatty acid  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Cyclamen mite damage on strawberry
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Spider mites and eggs under microscope
Photo by: Unknown
Caption: Spider mite damage on leaf
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli