WSU Extension

Hortsense

Boxwood : Boxwood mite
(revision date: 2/14/2019)


Biology
Boxwood mites are small and greenish brown. Their presence is typically indicated by small white, yellow, or bronze streaks resembling fine scratches or speckles on the upper surface of leaves. The mites may be found on the upper or lower surface of leaves. Heavy infestations may result in premature leaf drop. Mite infestations are often worse during dry, dusty conditions.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Conserve natural predators such as ladybird beetles, lacewings, and predaceous mites. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill these beneficials.
  • Wash mites from foliage with a strong stream of water.
  • Maintain plant health. Healthy plants are more tolerant of insect and mite damage.
  • High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage mite reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply when first noticed or when damage is noticed.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 4-80
  • Hi-Yield Dormant Spray
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 7401-428
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap with Seaweed Extract II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-59
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images
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Caption: Spider mites under microscope
Photo by: L.K. Tanigoshi
Caption: Spider mite damage on leaf
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Spider mites and eggs under microscope
Photo by: Unknown