Grape erineum mite, Colomerus vitis (Pagenstecher)

This is adapted after: Pfeiffer, D. G.  2008.  Major insect and mite pests of grapes. p. 241-261, 307-311. In: T. K. Wolf (ed.) Wine Grape Production Guide for Eastern North America.  Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service Pub;. 145, Cornell. (

This eriophyid mite is very small and probably won't be seen without magnification. It overwinters beneath loose bark of one-year old canes. There are three strains reported: the bud strain, the erineum strain, and the leaf-curling strain.  Feeding by the bud strain on buds of susceptible varieites injures the bud cluster, distorts basal leaves (developing apical leaves are deeper in the bud, and are less likely to be injured at this time), and may kill the overwintering buds.  In spring, mites move to leaves where they cause a gall-like "erineum" (mite-induced growth of leaf surface hairs or erinea) on the upper leaf surface. On the lower surface, beneath the erineum, is a dense, white growth of abnormally curled plant hairs. Mites feed and reproduce in this patch of hairs.  Some varieties reportedly support populations fo grape erineum mite without developing the leaf erineum symptom.  Some leaf distortion is tolerable, and control may not be needed unless injury is extensive (UCal; Univ. Cal. Integrated Viticulture).  In light infestations, removal of galled leaves may provide some control.  Best time for control is when shoots are growing or when erinea are forming.  Sulfur provides some control (wettable sulfur more so than flowable sulfur); mildew sprays incorporating sulfur aid is suppressing grape erineum mite.  A threshold developed in Oregon calls for treatment with Envidor (spirodiclofen) when 50% of shoots have 50% of leaves with mites (inspect with a hand lens).  Nexter (pyridaben) or Movento (spirotetramat) may also be applied.  When mites have retreated to beneath bud scales, control is difficult.
Other reading:
Jeppson, L. R., H. H. Keifer, & E. W. Baker. 1975. Mites Injurious to Economic Plants.Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.614 p. 74 pls.

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