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Spider Mites

spider mite webbingSpider mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. These arachnids have four pairs of legs, no antennae and a single, oval body region. Most spider mites have the ability to produce a fine silk webbing. Spider mites are very tiny, about the size of a pin head when adults.

Spider mites are common plant pests. Symptoms of injury include flecking, discoloration (bronzing) and scorching of leaves. Injury can lead to leaf loss and even plant death. Injury is caused as they feed, bruising the cells with their small, whiplike mouthparts and ingesting the sap. Damaged areas typically appear marked with many small, light flecks, giving the plant a somewhat speckled appearance.

Following severe infestations, leaves become discolored, producing an unthrifty gray or bronze look to the plant. Leaves and needles may ultimately become scorched and drop prematurely. Spider mites frequently kill plants or cause serious stress to them.

The most important spider mite is the two-spotted spider mite. This mite attacks a wide range of plants and ornamentals, and flowers. The two-spotted spider mite is also the most important species on house plants. It is a prolific producer of webbing.

Evergreens tend to host other mites, notably the spruce spider mite on spruce and juniper.

Control

We suggest a miticide such as Talstar Pro or Masterline Bifenthrin. These odorless concentrates are mixed with water and applied with a pump sprayer. These are great products to use when you have large areas to treat and need something which works well so you don’t have to constantly retreat with something like an insecticidal soap. Use these products outside of the home on just about any plant or tree as well as around the home for general pest control.


Insecticide Concentrates

– These concentrates are mixed with water and used in a compressed hand held sprayer to make your application.