Bronzed Acariosis of Tomato or Dried Tomato: [Concept, Detection, Effects and Treatment]

What is bronzed tomato or dried tomato acariosis?

There is a particular mite with the scientific name Aculops lycipersici , also known as Vasates destructor and Phyllocoptes destructor , belonging to the Eriophyddae family, which moves freely on tomato plants.

Its origin is located in Australia, but it has managed to spread throughout the world. Their behavior is aggressive because, despite their tiny size, they have a tremendous ability to suck plant cells in leaves and stems, until they are completely damaged, wilting them without being able to save themselves. 

They do not leave wounds or gills, but they can move freely around the parasitizing tomato plant, living at the expense of their host without any shame.

Dried tomato plants

But there is also another serious threat against tomato plants, which can bring a brutal drought of plants: the presence of the fungus or virus called tospovirus, caused by the presence of thrips , tiny beings that also infect plant tissues, with the terrible consequence leaves dry in a short time.

It is also very possible that another very powerful fungus has invaded the crop: Mildew, which generates oily-type spots on the leaves that will kidnap the entire plant in a very short time.

How can we identify the bronzed acariosis of the tomato or dry of the tomato plants?

Although the bronzed tomato acariosis is caused by a tiny pest, very small in all phases of its development and is very difficult to observe with the naked eye, it is possible to identify the following damages in the tomato plant .

  1. The leaves roll up and the underside turns silver.
  2. Then the leaves will turn brown, until they wilt completely.
  3. Damage is first evident on the inside of the plant. They go from the bottom up, as the mites go up, in their food climb.
  4. When the plant has been completely invaded, the stems turn a rust-brown color and may even fall off and the leaves lose their trichomes or leaf hairs.
  5. The fruit of the plant will also suffer, as the skin becomes rough, reddish-brown and will have deformations that will make it lose commercial value.

Morphological characteristics

Regarding the morphological characteristics, behavior and biology of these mites, we have to:

  1. They are very small in all phases of their development, so it is difficult to observe them with the naked eye.
  2. They have an elongated body, similar to a torpedo, smooth in texture and segmented.
  3. The head and its oral structures are differentiated from the rest of the body.
  4. They only have 2 pairs of legs, more than enough to go up and down the plant. Other groups of mites have 4 pairs.
  5. Their eggs are barely 0.005 mm in diameter. They are placed on the underside of the leaves. They also hide them at the bottom of the plants.
  6. As soon as the laying occurs, the egg is pearl white, but when it matures it turns a pale yellow color. 
  7. They have two nymphal stages, go through two stages, although they are also called larvae in the first and nymphs in the second. They pass in just one day, from one to another and measure about 0.1 mm.
  8. Adults, however, grow rapidly, in just 2-3 days. They may appear creamy and yellowish-orange in color.
  9. Males are slightly larger than females, but they do not exceed 0.17 mm.

High temperatures favor the proliferation of these critters, which are very dangerous for tomato plants.

Fungal attacks

In the case of attacks by fungi such as mildew and powdery mildew , the evidences of their invasive presence are:

  1. The leaves begin to dry out, have a toasted appearance and end up falling off, being also very brittle on contact.
  2. It appears at the beginning or at the end of the crop, preferably drying the aerial parts
  3. It occurs in spring and summer , when the ambient temperature begins to rise and humidity also rises. And in rainy places, in these same seasonal periods.
  4. Another cause of the appearance of this fungus is due to the fact that the plant has not had sufficient aeration, either because it has been planted very close to other similar ones, or because its foliage is very dense.

What plants are affected by the bronzed or dried tomato acariosis?

As already explained, mites were first seen in Australia, but today they affect any tomato crop, wherever they are grown.

Likewise, they affect other nightshades , although to a lesser degree of destruction. And fungi, in general, appear thanks to unhealthy practices for crops or environmental changes with marked moments of high humidity.

How to combat the bronzed acariosis of the tomato or dry of the tomato plants?

Prevention is the key to avoiding diseases in any type of crop, no matter the species.

Although the ideal is to acquire moisture resistant ones, in order to avoid the presence of fungi in tomato plants, which are very susceptible to these attacks.

It is very important to look for seeds adapted to the climate where the cultivation will take place. 


Ensuring good aeration of the crop, maintaining a prudent distance between each plant prevents the proliferation of fungi, is very convenient.


Carry out regular pruning, where dead or dry leaves are removed and a harmonious vegetative growth is guaranteed.

As soon as we see the first diseased, dry leaves, they must be cut promptly to avoid the spread of the fungus, since if it reaches the trunks, the tomato plant will not be able to be saved.

In the case of pruning tomato suckers, wounds cannot be left open, much less in rainy periods, because they are a safe entry point for fungi.

Maybe you’re interested: How to prune tomato plants


Irrigation must always be very prudent: we must not touch the stem or leaves with water, either by drip method or watering can, it is necessary to avoid pointing towards the foliage, but go directly to the base of the plant, on the ground.


It is necessary to pay with a good fertilizer of organic origin, before and during cultivation, so that it improves the microbial activity and helps the plant always receive the nutrients it needs.

Maybe you’re interested: How to fertilize tomatoes

Crop rotation

New tomato plants should not be grown in the same place where we harvest. It is necessary to rotate , not to continue with the same family, since the fungus will also repeat. Very effective homemade fungicides can be used to control the disease. A good recipe is the following:

  1. Pour about 800 milliliters of rainwater into a bucket (always preferable) and mix with 200 milliliters of skim milk, in order to make the most of the salts rich in potassium and phosphates and the amino acids present. All together with lactic acid, the best fungicide .
  2. Immediately afterwards add 20 grams of sodium bicarbonate for each liter of the mixture, of great healing and disinfecting power.
  3. Then mix in a sprayer, shaking the mixture vigorously.
  4. Apply for two days in a row, in the afternoon. And if it rains, all the more so it should be thrown on the surface of the tomato plants.
  5. Then the remedy will be spaced, applying it every 15 days, on average.

What are the best products to eliminate tan or dried tomato acariosis?

One of the most effective products of chemical origin against pests such as bronzed tomato acariosis is:  Spiromesifen, composed of 2-mesityl-2-oxo-1-oxaspirol [4,4,] non-3-en-4-yl 3 , 3-dimethylbutyrate. 

It must be applied according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the package insert, since in the long term it can negatively impact aquatic organisms and cause adverse effects in the marine environment.

So they should not be allowed to reach bodies of water. It is an effective Acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor, capable of interfering with the synthesis of lipids. In the case of mites, it tremendously affects fertility.

Acts on the dried tomato, Aculops lycipersici, tan tomato, flies white , whiteflies of cotton plate the zucchini , white spider the pepper , red spider , among other causes bugs evils which can ruin crops of many Solanaceae.

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