The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources provides excellent information regarding the identification and life cycles of broad mites. "These mites are so small you need a hand lens to see them. Broad mites are yellowish in color and adult females have a white stripe on the back." (E. E. Grafton-Cardwell et al., 2015) University of California Statewide IPM Program
The broad mite has four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult. Adult females lay 30 to 76 eggs (averaging five per day) on the undersides of leaves and in the depressions of small fruit over an eight- to 13-day period and then die. Adult males may live five to nine days. While unmated females lay eggs that become males, mated females usually lay four female eggs for every male egg.
The eggs hatch in two or three days and the larvae emerge from the egg to feed. Larvae are slow moving and do not disperse far. After two or three days, the larvae develop into a quiescent larval (nymph) stage. Quiescent female larvae become attractive to the males which pick them up and carry them to the new foliage. Males and females are very active, but the males apparently account for much of the dispersal of a broad mite population in their frenzy to carry the quiescent female larvae to new leaves. When females emerge from the quiescent stage, males immediately mate with them (Anonymous a, Baker 1997, Peña and Campbell 2005). There are also reports of the broad mite using insect hosts, specifically some whiteflies, to move from plant to plant (Palevsky et al. 2001). (Thomas R. Fasulo, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, December 2000)
Recommended controls for Broad mites
Each control will have its own set of parameters that will be best suited for individual environments. Certain controls may only be available for commercial application.
Commercial farmers are required to reference their own state laws to ascertain if the recommended controls fall within compliance of their states regulatory guidelines.
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL CONTROLS
Mite Treatment: Heat Treatments
Russet, Cyclamen or Broad mites are very sensitive to heat. They are more difficult to control in winter than in summer due to lower greenhouse temperatures.
Hot Water Treatment: Soaking infested plants in water held at 111 - 115 degrees F for 15 minutes will destroy these mites without damage to most plants. (Not recommended for Medical or Hemp growers: use Hot Air Treatment)
Hot Air Treatment: This method can only be used in contained areas (areas or rooms that can be sealed) by raising the air temperature to 115 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Best results were reported with 100% humidity using (at least) two circulation fans to create some vortex1. As all eggs may not be terminated using this method, weekly repeat applications may be necessary to achieve desired results.
Note 1: Fans are usually NOT necessary for small tents, closets, etc. (if installed, use the return air system for re-circulation). NEVER place fans so they are blowing directly on your plants; they will dehydrate.
Note 2: for Cannabis Growers: efficacy of heat treatment is directly proportional to your canopy density: as canopy density increases, heat treatments will become less effective as pest insects will simply retreat into new node formations. Heat treatments are most effective while in veg cycle.