Open House Notice



Refinements in Grafting

Contact Info

Tree Information

Brief Description Of Citrus Trees

The Story Of The Panzarella Orange and Lemon

Why You Want to Grow Citrus Grafted on Trifoliata

History of the Raspberry Tangor

The Story of the Genoa Loquat

The Story of the Tennousi Pear

My Experience with Miracle Fruit

My Favorite Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables

A Misunderstanding of the Republic of Texas Orange

Taking Care of Trees

How to Take Care of a New Citrus Tree

Growing Your New Citrus Tree in a Container

Cirus Leaf Miner

Citrus Rust (Silver) Mites

Woolly whitefly

How to give bad caterpillars a case of diarrhea

How to Grow Peaches

How to Grow Pecans

How to Grow Pecans Along the Gulf Coast



How To Catch a Racoon With His Sweet Tooth

Where to Purchase Citrus Graftwood

How to plant Seeds

Christmas Day 2004

Citrus Terms

Texas Citrus Laws

Gardening Organizations Worth Joining

By John Panzarella


The second most abundant pest along the Texas Gulf Coast where I live that bother citrus is the rust mite Phyllocoptruta oleivora, sometimes called the silver mite on lemons and citrons.  The mites can not be seen by the naked eye, but can be seen under a hand magnifier.  When the rust mites are present they destroy the rind cells producing the rusty dripped look on all citrus other than lemons and citrons.  On lemons and citrons they produce a silvery shark skin affect.  They make the fruit skin dry and hard.  Some say the fruit is a little sweeter if there is a mild attack on the fruit because of concentration of the fruit sugars, but a typical attack will produce fruit that is unattractive, hard to peel, dry, and un-sellable for the fresh fruit market.


(Click picture to enlarge)

Citrus rust mites on a Pummelo hybrid.

The Rust mite does not attack the part of the fruit that gets a lot of sun.

Shark skin on an Etrog Citron caused by the Citrus Silver (Rust) mite .

There are several miticides that can be used according to Dr. French and Dr. Setamou, entomologists at the Texas A&M citrus center.  There are Agri-Mek, Abba, or Zoro (abamectin active ingredient), and also Micromite.  These are mixed with Petroleum oil and sprayed on the fruit. Kelthane has been discontinued, but you can also use Nexter, Neem oil, Portal, Lorsban, Nexter, Sevin, or Sulphur.  In my opinion the abamectins and Micromite are the most effective, but expensive and hard to get. You can also use dormant oil to control them.

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