Pest Profile

Wheat Curl Mite
Aceria tosichella

Pest Description

Wheat curl mites are white and cigar-shaped, but are microscopic  and not visible to the unaided eye. These mites overwinter in all life stages, and have a short life cycle of only 8-10 days at 77 F. Wheat curl mites feed deep in the curled leaves or whorls, which makes chemical control difficult.

Injury from leaf feeding causes no notable damage; however, these mites transmit wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) which yellows leaves and stunts leaves.

Learn more about the mite-virus complex here (this is a K-12 educational video): Wheat Mite-Virus Complex

Source of information

Thomas et al. 2004 (Plant Health Progress), Frank Peairs (CSU,, online (

Pest Diagnostics


Pest photo source

online (

Plant Diagnostics


Plant diagnostic image(s) source

Thomas et al. 2004 (Plant Health Progress)