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November 26, 2012

Control of Red Spider-mites

-by Debra Anchors

Red Spider-mite
Are your houseplants’ leaves suddenly speckled with yellow? Is your azalea’s foliage dull and falling from its stems? Sap-feeding red spider mites may be taking up residence on the leaf undersides. These eight-legged arachnid relatives are also called two-spotted mites for their distinguishing marks. Yellowing, distorted, leaves as well as tiny webs appears on susceptible species including roses, scheffleras, gardenias, and ivy.




Detection: Extremely small, these yellow, green, or orange-red mites are the size of a pencil tip. A magnifying glass will assist you as you examine your plants, or tap an infested leaf over white paper; mites leave red marks when smeared.

Solution: Lady beetles, lacewings, and predatory mites eat these pests. Blasting plants with water sends mites sailing. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are safe on nearly all plants. Spray the top and bottom of all leaf surfaces and repeat if necessary.

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