Spider mites are common plant pests and are regarded as severe nuisance pests when there are heavy concentrations of spider mite infestations. This is particularly because spider mites can potentially be extremely detrimental to crops and plants. Most homeowners will not own agricultural fields, however, spider mites are not limited to just agricultural crops, but will feed on garden plants as well as ornamental plants. Spider mites have a unique quality that is similar to their cousin spiders in that they can spin silk, which is mainly the reason why they are given their common name, spider mite.>> Read More
Spider mites are included in the same family of arachnids and are relatives to spiders, ticks, and scorpions. Growing to be a little less than 1mm long, spider mites are often times extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. Seasonal changes that occur and even the species of spider mites will affect the color of spider mites. Spider mites range in colors, varying between reds to browns to even yellows and greens.
Spider mites undergo a simple metamorphosis and do not need to pupate in order to mature into an adult. Therefore, they simply molt and change their shape as they grow into a full grown mite. Spider mite females lay transparent eggs that are spherical in shape. Most species of spider mites will spin silk webbing to protect their eggs from natural predators, which gives them their name, spider mite. Under the most favorable conditions, spider mites can hatch in a little less than 2 days and will become completely mature and ready to reproduce in as little as 5 days. Spider mites actually reproduce at an extremely alarming rate. One female can lay, more or less, 20 eggs a day and in just one month, a female spider mite can spawn a population of over one million mites.
Spider mites are detrimental to plants because they ingest the sap that is produced in the leaves of the plant. The initial damage is caused to the plant because of the way they ingest the sap. As spider mites feed, they bruise the plant cells with their mouths. Like any bruised fruit or plant, the color begins to change and rot. Typically, the damaged areas to a plant leaf will have small spots or flecks and give the plant an aesthetically displeasing appearance that is freckled. Severe infestations of spider mites are particularly harmful to plants. Spider mite infestations leave entire leaves completely discolored. Leaves and needles of plants often times result in wilting, scorched, or dropping prematurely. This causes extreme stress to plants which ultimately kills the plant.
Spider mites are particularly difficult to get rid of. The reason is usually because of their accelerated reproduction rates. Because spider mites can reproduce at such a fast pace and will spawn huge populations, if the same type of pesticide is continuously used for a long period of time, spider mites become adapt to them and will begin to build resistances. Also, due to their small size, infestations may go unnoticed until only after the plant shows signs of damage.
Early detection and prevention is the key to spider mite control. They feed on the sap of the plant leaves which can be easily accessed from the underside of the leaves. This is why garden keepers and planters should watch out for discoloration and damage on the particular area of the plant. Most plants will not show apparent damage to the outer area of the leaves, so planters must be very thorough when they are inspecting their plants for spider mites. When temperatures and dry spells increase, spider mite populations will thrive because of their adaptation to hot and dry weather. It is important to keep all areas of interest in cool and moist environments so that you can discourage spider mite invasions. Regularly irrigating and providing a moisture source for all plants are extremely crucial to kill off spider mites. Also, it is fairly easy to use water hoses to wash away webbing from plants.
Typical insecticides may not be effective for spider mite infestations. It is important to acquire the correct spider mite miticide to effectively get rid of spider mites. When actively applying miticides to kill spider mites, you must consider their rapid rate of development. This means that, although it is tedious and may be tiring, you must regularly and thoroughly treat areas of infestation as necessary.
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