Spider mites are not insects, but rather spider relatives. These arachnids have four pairs of legs, no antennae, and an oval body. The majority of spider mites can make exquisite silk webbing. Spider mites are tiny, measuring less than 1/50 inch in length as adults. Continue reading to find out How To Control Mites in your Indianapolis home and dial (317) 943-4008 for help with other common home pests and mite pest control exterminator methods.
Many different types of spider mites can be found in Indiana. Two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae, and spruce spider mites, Oligonychus ununguis, are the most prevalent pests. The European red mite, Panonychus ulmi, attacks apple and serviceberry trees; the honeylocust spider mite, Platytetranychus multi digital; the southern red mite, Oligonychus ilicis (McGregor), which is found on a variety of plants, particularly holly; the boxwood spider mite, Eurytetranychus Puxi (Garman); the maple spider mite
Different Kinds of Damage
Spider mites have microscopic mouthparts that have been developed to puncture individual plant cells and extract their contents. As a result, little yellow or white speckles appear. When many of these feeding places close together, the foliage turns yellow or bronzed. When a plant’s foliage turns bronze, it generally drops prematurely.
Plants that have been heavily affected may become discolored, stunted, or even dead. Spider mites that spin webs may coat the leaves with fine silk, which accumulates dust and seems unclean.
Habits and Life Cycles
Spider mites appear to be active pests in either warm or cool conditions. In dry, hot summer conditions, two-spotted, European red, honeylocust, maple, and oak spider mites thrive. Spruce and southern red spider mites thrive in chilly spring and fall temperatures.
All spider mites go through the same developmental phases. Adult females typically lay their eggs on the host plants. The eggs hatch into the first stage, known as a larva, in days to weeks. Larvae have spherical bodies and just three pairs of legs. The larvae feed for a few days before seeking a secluded place to rest and molting into the first nymphal stage. The first nymph is now equipped with four pairs of legs. The first nymphs feed for a few days before resting and molting to become the second nymph. Second nymphs feed, rest, and molt into adulthood. Males are often the size of a second nymph, with pointed abdomens. Female mites have rounded abdomens and are the largest mites found.
Most spider mites spend the winter as eggs, but the two-spotted spider mite spends the winter as adult females sleeping in safe areas.
Spider mites have numerous natural enemies that frequently inhibit colony growth. Water-stressed plants are more likely to be injured, thus adequate irrigation is critical. Broad-spectrum insecticide treatments for other pests frequently result in mite outbreaks, so avoid them wherever feasible. Water sprays, insecticidal oils, or soaps can be used to control them. Prior to treatment, always keep an eye on mite levels.
Mites are little and difficult to spot. Plant damage, such as stippled or yellow leaves, is frequently noticed before the mites themselves. Check the undersides of leaves for mites, their eggs, and webbing; a hand lens will be required to identify them. Shake a couple of the leaf surfaces onto a white sheet of paper to get a better look at the mites. They will scurry about quickly if they are disturbed. Before you treat, make sure there are mites present. The mites may have disappeared by the time you detect the damage; plants frequently recover after the mites have left.
Spider mites have many natural enemies, which keep their numbers in check in many landscapes and gardens, especially when pesticide sprays are not used. Predatory mites, such as the western predatory mite, Galendromus (previously Metaseiulus) occidentalis, and Phytoseiulus mite species, are among the most significant. Predatory mites are around the same size as plant-feeding mites, but they have longer legs and are more active and teardrop-shaped than spider mites.
Six spotted thrips (Scolothrips sexmaculatus) (Figure 8), the larvae and adults of the spider mite destroyer lady beetle (Stethorus pipes), the larvae of certain flies, including the cecidomyid Feltiella Carnivora, and various general predators such as minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, and lacewing larvae are all important predators. Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, can be a vital predator on spider mite eggs and larvae, but it can also cause serious plant damage if mites aren’t there to feed on.
Spider mites can be influenced by cultural behaviors. Mite outbreaks are frequently caused by dusty circumstances. Water footpaths and other dusty places on a regular basis. Spider mites are less tolerant of water-stressed trees and plants. Make sure you have enough water. Washing trees and vines with water in the middle of the season to remove dust may help prevent major late-season mite infestations.
Watering plants in gardens and on small fruit trees on a regular basis will frequently lower spider mite numbers significantly. Make sure to cover the undersides of the leaves completely. If you need extra control, use an insecticidal soap or oil in your spray, but test it on one or two plants first to ensure it won’t harm them.
Spider mites are commonly a concern after using insecticides. Such outbreaks are often caused by insecticides that kill the mites’ natural adversaries, but they can also occur when certain insecticides boost mite reproduction. Spider mites exposed to carbaryl (Sevin) in the lab, for example, reproduce quicker than untreated populations. Carbaryl, some organophosphates, and some pyrethroids also benefit spider mites by boosting nitrogen levels in leaves. Insecticides used during hot weather appear to have the greatest impact, generating major spider mite outbreaks in a matter of days.
Use specific ingredients, ideally insecticidal soap or insecticidal oil, if mite treatment is necessary. Plant-based oils such as neem, canola, and cottonseed oils, as well as petroleum-based horticultural oils, are allowed. As acaricides (pesticides that kill mites), plant extracts can kill spider mites. Garlic extract, clove, mint, rosemary, cinnamon, and other spices are examples. Soaps and oils should not be used on water-stressed plants or when temperatures are above 90°F. These compounds may harm some plants, so read the labels and/or test them on a small section of leaves for several days before applying a full treatment. Oils and soaps must touch mites to kill them, thus complete coverage, especially on leaf undersides, is required. Repeated applications may be necessary.
For more information about mites and Diseases Caused by Mites In Humans, call pest control for mites near me at (317) 943-4008.
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