Red spider mite

Dummer. ゛☀
09-24
The mites are exceedingly small and a strong magnifying glass is needed to see them clearly. An early sign of their presence is the appearance of brown dots where the plant epidermis has been damaged, merging into confluent scarring and sometimes webbing on the plants. The harmful microscopic red spider mites, which damage plants, should not be confused with a commonly seen, much larger red mite 2-3 mm across which is a harmless predator.

Control of red spider mite
The reddish-brown mites thrive in hot dry conditions and dislike humid conditions, so overhead watering and spraying plants may discourage mite attack. They are affected to some extent by insecticides (check labels), but a miticide is really needed to control them properly. Unfortunately, effective miticides are not available to amateurs.

Biological control of red spider mite
A predator Phytoseiulus persimilis is available but requires temperatures over at least 70°F (21°C). It is difficult to obtain a predator/prey balance that allows long-term protection in a small collection.
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