The mite is widespread and occurs almost everywhere, except for the southern and northern latitudes below 60 degrees and above 60 degrees. Rusty mite damages tomatoes, less pepper, eggplant and potatoes. The pest prefers loose plants.
Rusty mite affects the leaves, stems and fruits of tomatoes. Population of plants starts from the bottom up. Silvery plaque on the underside of the leaf is an early symptom of the development of the pest on the crop. The signs of damage also include the appearance of rounded brown spots on the lower leaves and stems. The development of the pest causes cracking of the coverslips of damaged organs of the plant, their color changes to rusty-brown. Then there is a development of tissue necrosis, leaves and ovaries dry up and fall off. Crop stops growing and develop, quality and yield decrease (from 30 to 50%).
The rusty mite refers to four-legged mites (it has 2 pairs of walking legs), about 0.15-0.25 mm in size, of a spindle shape, orange color.
One female for a life (22-50 days) lays from 15-50 eggs. Males make up 12% of the total population. The phytophagus has a simplified cycle of development - a larva emerges from the eggs, which after two moltings turns into an imago. Only males appear from unfertilized eggs. The life cycle from egg to egg takes 15 days under optimal conditions. Optimal conditions for the mite are 27°C and low humidity (30%). The mite passes through the following instars: the egg, the larva, the nymph and the adult. Development from the egg to the adult takes from 7 days at a temperature of 25°C to 15 days at 15°C. In the greenhouse the pest reproduces all year round.
Phytoseiulus persimilis mite controls the pest.