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Hibiscus Erineum Mite

Hibiscus erineum mite damage. Photo: Dr. Wayne Nishijima

Hibiscus erineum mite damage
Photo: Dr. Wayne Nishijima

Problem

You have bumpy, distorted leaves and stems on your hibiscus.

Description

The Hibiscus erineum mite prefers red hibiscus but will also attack other hibiscus species. Feeding causes leaf, stem and twig galls. Galls look like rounded, puckered bumps which give leaves a bumpy appearance. Mites especially like new growth. The actual mite is microscopic thus you are unlikely to see it, or it will be very difficult to see. If you see fast moving mites on your hibiscus, these are likely predatory, the “good guys.”

Microscopic hibiscus erineum mite. Photo: Dr. A. Hara

Microscopic view of erineum mite
Photo: Dr. Arnold H. Hara, CTAHR

Information

There are predatory mites that eat the hibiscus erineum mite. If you see fast moving mites on your hibiscus, do not apply miticide as you will kill the predatory mites and encourage the erineum mites.

Cultivars that are susceptible to erineum mite:

  • Susceptible: Chinese Red, Herman Shierman, Orange Hibiscus, Nii Yellow, Kardinal
  • Less Susceptible: Apricot, Empire, Pink Hibiscus, Itsy Bitsy Peach Monch, Zahm Chinese, Apple Blossom, Kaua'i White and Oahu White

Kendal Lyon, Hawaii Island Master Gardeners