If you notice leaves with many tiny yellowish or bleached spots, leaves turning pale bronze, scorching around leaf edges, or leaves fall off prematurely, your plant is perhaps infested with spider mites. In fact, spider mites are considered the quantity one pest of decorative plants within the southeastern us. Learn what to look for, the way to treat affected trees and shrubs, and the way to forestall tetranychid damage. Here you will know about how to prevent spider mites, or if you are looking for services, then you can choose spider pest control experts they can help you in the best way.
TYPES OF SPIDER MITES IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
TWO SPOTTED mites (TETRANYCHUS URTICAE)
- Most active in summer
- Feeds on the majority of plants
The most common sort of tetranychid in our area is the Two Spotted mites, named for the two dark spots found on all sides of its body. It’s most active during summer and feeds on just about anything growing in your yard, from weeds to annuals, perennials to vegetables, fruit, and fruit trees. They also love houseplants, so if you bring your houseplants outside within the warmer months, check them carefully before bringing them indoors at the tip of the season.
SPRUCE tetranychid (OLIGONYCHUS UNUNGUIS)
- Most active in late spring and fall, the damage seen in summer
- Feeds on conifer
Conifers tend to be attacked by other sorts of spider mites, like Spruce Spider Mites. You’ll find them on spruce, hemlock, arborvitae, fir, juniper, and sometimes pine.
Peak damage from feeding occurs in late spring and fall, with the worst damage within the hot summer months.
Spruce Spider Mites spend the winter within the egg stage on the bark of branches, near the bottom of needles, and around buds. They hatch in mid-spring and start feeding on the older needles within the plant’s interior; later within the season, they move to newer growth.
Adults are dark greenish-black or redness, with one dark area that covers most of the abdomen.
SOUTHERN RED MITE (OLIGONYCHUS ILICIS)
- Most active in spring and fall
- Feeds on broad-leaved evergreen
These spider mites are presumably to infest broad-leaved evergreens, like hollies, boxwood, azalea, rhododendron, camellia, and laurel.
As a cool-season variety, they’re most active within the spring and fall. The red eggs are laid on the underside of foliage and spend the winter there until they emerge as dark reddish-brown nymphs in spring. The adults are dark reddish-brown. Southern Red Mites don’t spin silk webbing.
OAK SPIDER MITES (OLIGONYCHUS BICOLOR)
- Most active in summer
- Feeds totally on oak trees (they seem to prefer pin oaks and willow oaks) but may also infest birch, beech, elm, and hickory trees
These tiny mites quickly multiply in weather and simply spread throughout the tree. From there, they use their webbing to “sail” to neighboring trees, spreading throughout your property and to neighboring trees.
Oak Spider Mites overwinter as eggs and can rapidly reinfest a tree in spring unless the tree is treated with horticultural oil during the dormant season.
OTHER COMMON SPIDER MITES
Other common spider mites in northern Virginia include the ECU red mite, boxwood mite, clover mite, hickory mite, linden tetranychid, elm mite, honeylocust tetranychid, willow tetranychid, oak red mite, and also the maple mite. Each includes a favored host plant, although most will take advantage of other plant species.
PLANTS TARGETED BY SPIDER MITES
Because there are such a lot of species of spider mites in northern Virginia, they affect too many plant species to count. However, familiar shrubs and trees damaged by spider mites include:
Arborvitae, Azalea, Boxwood, Camellia, Elm, Fir, Fruit trees, Garden vegetables, Hemlock, Hollies, Hollyhock, Honeylocust, Houseplants, and greenhouse plants
IDENTIFYING tetranychid DAMAGE
Spider mites use their sharp, needle-like mouthparts (called stylets) to rasp and scrape the surface of leaves so that they can suck out the sap. This damages and kills plant cells, leading to the recognizable stippled, scarred leaf surfaces that indicate mite infestation.
As more spider mites feed, and also the longer they feed, larger areas of the leaves’ side die. Severely damaged leaves may look yellowed, bronzed, or bleached.
In a severe infestation, the plant loses leaves, declines, and should even die.
Because mite damage is usually seen during hot, dry weather, it’s often confused with heat stress or the consequences of drought. If you’re not certain if the damage you’re seeing is caused by heat/drought stress or by spider mites, call your arborist for knowledgeable inspection.
HOW TO SPOT SPIDER MITES
During the season, and particularly during hot, dry weather, check your plants for spider mites weekly or two. A simple thanks to doing that is to shake an affected leaf over a sheet of study. If you see tiny colored dots on the road on the paper, your plant has spider mites. And if you have got a simple microscope (or a zoom on your camera), you’ll see that the adults look spider-like, with eight legs (juveniles only have six legs).
Another sign to seem for is ok, silk webbing on leaves and branches. Although they’re not spiders, spider mites do spin webs (which, not surprisingly, is how they got their name).
Some tetranychid species overwinter as adults in soil, on the undersides of leaves, or in crevices on host trees or shrubs. Others spend winter as eggs and can hatch in early spring.
After hatching, spider mites mature within a month and begin breeding. Many generations are also created within one season, resulting in explosive growth.
The worst damage from tetranychid feeding is sometimes observed during the warmer summer months.
SPIDER MITE CONTROL OPTIONS
Homeowners often inadvertently make mite infestations worse by trying to manage them with insecticide sprays. Unfortunately, because they’re not insects, conventional insecticides don’t work on spider mites but do kill their natural predators, like ladybugs, big-eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, and predatory thrips or mites.
The end result is an explosion within the number of spider mites, with ensuing damage to their preferred plant targets.
USING WATER to manage SPIDER MITES
Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions – the identical conditions that stress plants and make them more liable to mite damage. A way to deal with that’s to water plants regularly and spray the leaves with a robust jet of water. This knocks adult spider mites, eggs, and larvae off the plant and quickly reduces the population. It also ruins their webbing, leaving them more prone to predators. Make sure to urge good coverage of the lower surface of the leaves. On conifers, thoroughly wash down the complete tree.
USING CHEMICALS to regulate SPIDER MITES
When hosing of your plants isn’t practical or effective, the subsequent option is to use a horticultural miticide – a pesticide that’s specifically developed for tetranychid control. These pesticides usually don’t affect the eggs, so they’ll be reapplied every 10 to 14 days until the population is in check.
Insecticidal soap may also be sprayed on plants in summer, although it’s best used for smaller plants.
As a part of our Tree Health Management programs, we use a special treatment that’s injected directly into the soil around infested trees and lasts 30 to 45 days (so it doesn’t must be reapplied every 10-14 days). It also allows us to inject lots of water into the basis zone at the identical time, helping keep trees hydrated, so they’re better able to debar tetranychid attacks. Between the 2, trees improve quickly.
Dormant oil sprays are wont to control mite and egg populations in winter or in early spring before growth begins. This can be particularly helpful for species that feed during cooler weather, like people who infest conifers and broad-leaved evergreens.
newly hatched spider mites on the the underside of a leaf
Newly-hatched spider mites on the underside of a leaf are so tiny that they’re difficult to identify.
PREVENTING mite INFESTATION
The best thanks to keeping spider mites away are to stay your plants consistently watered during dry weather. Not only will healthy plants be better able to forbid attacks, but spider mites tend to avoid moist conditions.
Spider mites also like tender new growth, so keep fertilization to a minimum during the warmer months, especially synthetic fertilizers with high nitrogen levels.
When practical (such as within the vegetable garden), cover plants with floating row covers and spray with insecticidal soap to stay spider mites in check.
Because spider mites can overwinter in fallen leaves, weeds, and other debris, remove them during your fall yard cleanup if you’ve experienced a major mite infestation.