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How to Control Rust Mites

By Emma Watkins ; Updated September 21, 2017
Conifers and other trees are susceptible to rust mites.

Rust mites are crescent-shaped pests that suck the juices out of plants' leaves. The different species of rust mites feed on a variety of plants, from conifers to citrus and other fruit trees. They usually appear in spring and again in the fall. Several miticides exist, but not all of them treat rust mites. As you look for one, read the labels to verify the chemical is formulated to kill the rust mite, or eriophyid. Confirm that it's approved for use on the type of plant that has the infestation.

Apply sulfur to grapevines to treat grape rust mite. Treat the vines in early spring, before the rust mites lay their eggs. Dilute wettable sulfur fungicide in water according to the manufacturer's directions. Spray it on the vines when the temperature is higher than 60 degrees and the grapes are at the woolly bud stage. Make a second application two weeks later.

Control apple rust mite in a commercial orchard with a pesticide containing fenbutatin-oxide diluted according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply this product up to two times in one growing season.

Eliminate rust mites from citrus trees with water-soluble sulfur pellets. This product is safe for organic citrus production and is applied as a spray when the trees are wet. The pellets stick to the foliage. As they dissolve in the warm weather, they release a vapor that kills the rust mites. This method doesn't interfere with beneficial insects.


Things You Will Need

  • Wettable sulfur fungicide
  • Sprayer
  • Fenbutatin-oxide
  • Sulfur pellets

About the Author


Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.