Heads Up on Lewis Mite
I had a pretty sharp eyed PCA stop by my office just this morning with a sizable sample of what turned out to be Lewis mite from a newly planted field of strawberries. To this savvy individual, something about the mites he was looking at didn't seem right, and sure enough inspection under the scope at our office proved him right - they were Lewis mites.
The key point here is that Lewis mite doesn't necessarily respond to the same control tactics that twospotted spider mite does, in particular Phytoseiulus persimilis doesn't like to eat it. Which means that treating every mite population that one sees in the field this winter as twospotted spider mite could be a painful mistake.
Up to date information on managing Lewis mite is right here, courtesy your friendly scientists at UC Cooperative Extension:
Lewis mite. Photo courtesy Anna Howell, UCCE