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The grape pox mite is a species of mite in the gall mite family. She performs on grapevines. We present 6 home remedies to combat mites and show how prevention works.

In a nutshell

  • the vine pox mite is a gall mite that affects grape vines
  • Pests suck on the vine leaves
  • Symptoms: pock-like elevations on the upper side of the leaf, felt-like hairs on the underside of the leaf
  • Larvae overwinter on the plant
  • biological spray solutions or predatory mites can help

Recognize the grapepox mite

Vinepox mites (Colomerus vitis) are 160 to 200 micrometers long, so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. They belong to the gall mite family.
Vinepox mites overwinter in the buds of grapevines. As soon as the young vine leaves emerge, the activity of the mites begins. They suck on the leaves and produce a typical damage picture.

Source: Bj.schoenmakers, Colomerus vitis (Eriophyes vitis), Arnhem, the Netherlands - 2, edited by Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

damage picture:

  • Visibility of infestation shortly after new growth in spring
  • pock-like elevations on the upper side of the leaves
  • the blisters or smallpox are sometimes yellowish, greenish or reddish in color
  • white felt-like coating on the underside of the leaves
  • more pronounced damage in the event of prolonged drought

Notice: Due to the white felt on the underside of the leaves, confusion with powdery mildew is common. The upper side of the leaf provides information about which cause it is.

Incidentally, even if the damage is clearly pronounced, an infestation with the vine pox mite has little effect on the crop yield.


Do not immediately resort to chemical pesticides. Even simple home remedies lead to success. We've put together 6 tips for fighting the vinepox mite for you.

Remove affected leaves

Cut off the damaged leaves. Collect the leaves carefully and dispose of them with household waste.

Notice: Parts of plants that are infested with pests or diseases do not belong in the compost. Pathogens can spread by spreading the compost soil.

use predatory mites

Predatory mites, for example of the Typhlodromus pyri variety, are natural enemies of grape pox mites. They are between 0.4 and 0.8 millimeters in size and are strikingly yellow or orange in color.
You can buy the predatory mites in garden shops. Their use is considered the most effective biological means to combat the grapevine pox mite. Incidentally, the predatory mites also devour other mites. In viticulture and fruit growing, predatory mites are used to prevent pest infestation effectively and at an early stage.

Tip: Predatory mites help against harmful species of mites such as the common spider mite, the fruit tree spider mite and the curl mite. They themselves do not cause any damage to the infested plants. In organic farming, stable colonies can develop with useful predatory mites that permanently displace pests.

Application: Typhlodromus pyri is sold in specialist shops on felt strips or cards. Distribute this to the affected vines. Observe the manufacturer's instructions for use.

Release gall midge larvae

Like the predatory mites, the gall midge larvae are also natural enemies of the grapepox mites. Gall midges lay their eggs near the grapepox mites. When the larvae hatch, they eat the harmful mites. Gall midge larvae are successfully used against aphids and spider mites. The gall midge species Aphidoles aphidimyza and Episyrphus balteatus are useful.

Source: Katja Schulz from Washington, D.C., USA, Little Gall Midge (28324736641), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0

Application: Gall midge larvae are sold in specialist shops in granules. They should be applied immediately according to the manufacturer's instructions.

use lacewings

Lacewings are among the beneficial insects that every hobby gardener should know about. They prefer to eat vine pox mites, but also grain thrips, aphids, mealybugs and other small insects. Lacewings do no harm to plants.

Application: Lacewings can be purchased from specialist retailers as eggs or lava. They should be used immediately after purchase and in compliance with the manufacturer's instructions.

use neem oil

Neem oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the seeds of the Indian neem tree. The main active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin. This influences the hormonal balance of the mites.

Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) with flowers

Application: Mix 10 ml of neem oil, 5 ml of Rimulgan and two liters of water. This mixture is sprayed once a week for four weeks just before the buds burst. Ready-made neem oil/Rimulgan mixtures are commercially available.

Tip: Alternatively, you can use rapeseed oil to combat the mite.

Squirt nettle broth

All hobby gardeners who rely on natural cultivation know the effectiveness of the stinging nettle. Nettle broth has been used as a herbal fertilizer for generations. But this home remedy can do even more.

Application: Place chopped nettles in a suitable container and pour water over them. Cover the jar. Stir the nettle mixture daily. The broth can be used after three to four days. Pour the mixture through a sieve. Use a squirt bottle and give your vine a good spray every three days. The spray cure helps fight the mite and other pests.

nettle manure

Prevent effectively

Anyone who knows the needs of the vine pox mite and its natural enemies can effectively prevent an infestation.
Make your garden as natural as possible. Watch out for flowering plants. They provide food for bees, butterflies, ladybugs and other beneficial insects. Create a habitat for insects and small animals. Leave some faded flowers in winter. They give insects a winter quarters. Where beneficial insects thrive, pests don't stand a chance! Leave the leaves under the fruit trees over the winter and give small animals and insects a chance to hibernate. Check your plants carefully. Remove the affected leaves as soon as you see damage.

frequently asked Questions

How can I support the settlement of beneficial insects?

Set up an insect hotel or lacewing house. Plant a variety of flowering plants. If you do without chemicals in the garden, then beneficial insects will settle on their own. Lacewings often get into the lighted apartment. Put them back outside. If you spot lacewings in your gazebo or garage in the fall, let them hibernate there. They do no harm, on the contrary! A single lacewing larva can eat 500 aphids.

Are grapes usable despite the infestation?

The leaves of the vines infested with the mite do not look nice, but the infestation does not have a harmful effect on the wine. The crop yield may be slightly lower. Fighting is not mandatory. Enjoy the grapes as usual!

Does the white coating on oak leaves come from the grape pox mite?

No, the mite does not infest the oak trees. The white-grey coating is oak powdery mildew. This form of mildew is caused by a fungus. The trees do not suffer any damage and the ladybugs are happy. Some ladybug species feed exclusively on powdery mildew fungi.

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