How to Control Mites

Spider mites are one of the most common pests that attack ornamental plants and vegetables around your home. Even though some people think they are insects, they are closely related to ticks and spiders. Adult mites have eight legs, just like ticks and spiders. A mature mite is less than 1/50 of an inch long and is often found underneath the leaves of plants. Most of the time, a mite infestation is not detected until such time as the plant is severely damaged.

The mite has a needle-like mouthpart that is piercing. They use it to puncture the leaves and suck all of the juices from the plant. Damage resulting from a light infestation will often appear as a gray or yellow stippled pattern on the leaves themselves. On the underside of an infested leaf, you will usually find a fine silken web spun across the leaves.

What symptoms to look for

In the event of a heavy infestation, the leaves will turn gray, yellow or brown before they eventually drop off. The webbing might be spun over all of the branches or just over the small plant. Mites can easily be seen by shaking the foliage over a piece of white paper and observing any mites that you find. They can be red, green, black, purple, yellow or even colorless in nature.

Many homeowners are able to remove the mites and keep their population to a minimum by spraying their landscape with a forceful stream of water. Using a garden hose equipped with an adjustable nozzle, spray the underneath of the leaves whenever the mites are found.

Mite control

One of the most important components to successfully controlling dust mites is to begin the treatment program before the damage is out of control. Inspecting the plants on a regular basis with a magnifying glass will alert you to any mites that may be lurking on your plants. As soon as damage appears, you will want to treat the plants quickly and efficiently. Two applications performed five to six days apart will maintain satisfactory control of the mites. Spray your plants to point of runoff, but make sure the undersides of the leaves are sprayed completely.

Continue inspecting the plants throughout the year and apply miticide to help make sure mites don’t take control of your plants and damage them extensively. Soil treatments might be slower to take action, but they are effective for an extended period of time.  Your plants are important to you, so take control of the situation with Miticide and evasive action.