Mite, Spider

Mite, Spider is easy to spot spider mite damage: Most species spin fine webs on leaves and shoots.

Last Seen in the Vicinity of . . .

North America.

Mite, Spider


Both adults and nymphs pierce plant cells and suck the juice from the undersides of leaves. Their feeding weakens plants, causes leaves to drop, and results in stunted fruit. Early damage appears as yellow speckled areas on leaves; extremely fine webbing may be visible on undersides of leaves. In severe infestations, leaves become bronzed or turn yellow or white with brown edges. Webs may cover both sides of the leaves and eventually encase growing tips; long strings of webbing bearing hundreds of mites may hang down from the branch tips and disperse on the wind. Spider mite outbreaks can be sudden and severe in hot, dry conditions; in low h u m i d i t y, the mites feed more to avoid drying up, which leads them to lay more eggs and speeds their development. Various species attack vegetables, including beans, cucumbers, eggplants, melons, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. They also feed on ornamental trees, fruit trees, berries, herbs, annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, and houseplants.


All stages of spider mites are minute and less than 1?50 inch long. The adults have eight legs, while the youngest nymphs have six legs. They are reddish, pale green or yellow and have fine hairs on each side. The eggs are minuscule, pearly spheres found on webbing or on leaf hairs.

Crime Prevention

` Maintain high humidity in greenhouse crops and around houseplants.

Preserve native predatory mites in orchards by avoiding the use of pesticides.


` Spray dormant oil on fruit trees to kill overwintering spider mite eggs.

` Release predatory mites Metaseiulus occidentalisor Typhlodromus pyrion fruit trees, and Phytoseiulus persimilis or similar species on vegetables, strawberries, flowers, and houseplants. Consult suppliers for best species and release rates for local conditions.

` Spray summer oil on woody shrubs and trees that can tolerate it. ` As a last resort, spray insecticidal soap, neem extract, or pyrethrins.