Spider mites Spider mites are related to spiders. They are red, very tiny and sometimes difficult to spot with the naked eye. Spider mites live on the bottom sides of plant leaves and in the tips of new growth. Place a piece of white paper under an infested leaf and tap the leaf. You will see rusty colored dust on the paper. Those specks of dust are the mites! spidermitesa.jpg (25930 bytes)
Spider mite infestation symptoms:
1- Leaves are spotted with tiny little white, yellow and bronze, bite marks.
2- Stems can turn yellow or bronze.
3- Stem tips and undersides of leaves will have fine webs on them.
4- Leaves are wrinkled and dusty looking. The dust will frequently (but not always) be a reddish rusty color which is actually colonies of the mites themselves. 
5- Leaf loss and other plant part losses are common.
6- Left untreated, plants will die.

Spider mite facts:

1 - Few pesticides have any effect on Spider mites. Spider mites reproduce at such a fast rate and their eggs are not killed by many pesticides.  Pesticide control takes several treatments (every few days). 
2 - High Nitrogen fertilizer encourages mite populations.
3 - Spider mites love "protected from rain", dry hiding places. Humidity and forceful sprays of water (daily) are extremely helpful to dislodge and discourage mite populations.
4 - Spider mites spend their winter in the soil.
5 - Spider mites can live inside your home, in the moldings and baseboards. 
6 - Heavy infestations of any and all kinds of mites can be a "real life" nightmare to get rid of!

Spider mite Predators: 
Damsel bugs, ladybugs, green lacewings, 
predatory mites
Plants that repel Spider mites: 
Alder, coriander, dill, rye mulch, wheat mulch.
Helpful Links:  http://www.laters.com/insects/spidmite.htm


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February 10,  2002-2005 All Rights Reserved
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