What Are Spider Mites?

As the name implies, Spider Mites are spider like insects that can even produce a fine silk webbing

Life Cycles of Spider Mites: Adult female Spider Mites lay eggs on their host plants. After the eggs hatch in several days or weeks, the 1st stage larvae are taking over. After this the larvae molt into nymphal stage with additional legs and then on into adults. Some Spider Mites spend the winter as eggs but the two-spotted & the honey-locust Spider Mite overwinters as adult females. They overwinter in the soil or on host plants including crops or house plants.

Spider Mite activity usually picks up during warmer periods. The develop rapidly during this time and subsequently have higher egg production. Dryer conditions also greatly favor all Spider Mite varieties. The feed more in dry conditions. Additionally, their natural enemies usually require humid conditions to thrive.

Spider Mite Control: Detecting Spider Mites is a challenge because they are so small. You can do it however by knocking a piece of your plants foliage onto white paper. You’ll see them crawling off the paper and if there are 10 or more mites you may need to take control measures.

What Are Spider Mites?

Some of the methods used to control or get rid of Spider Mites might include:

Water Spray: By spraying a forceful jet of water you can knock them off the plants foliage. By doing this regularly you can at least control them.

Quarantine: If you discover a particular plant has Spider Mites you can isolate it from the others until you eradicate the mites.

Chemicals: Spider Mites can usually be controlled with insecticidal oils & soaps. Regular insecticides usually will not kill them so be sure “milicide” is present in the ingredients.

Natural / Biological: Introduce other predatory mites that love to eat Spider Mites. They can be released into the field for example but you should check with your local County Extension Agent to see which ones are appropriate for your area.

Other Natural Ways: Additional natural enemies include lady beetles, pirate bugs, and predatory thrips.