The first step to getting rid of a spider mite infestation is identifying the problem. There are several telltale signs that your plants are afflicted with these pests, and becoming more familiar with these signs will help eradicate the mites permanently. The mites themselves inhabit the underside of the leaves, but they’re very tiny. This is why you should employ the following methods to spot a spider mite problem.
Do Your Plants Have Spider Mites?
What do spider mites look like?
Spider mites are very tiny and almost resemble a grain of sand, so you can’t recognize that they are spider mites with the naked eye. When they are at their largest, you’ll only see that the grains of sand are moving. When magnified, however, you’ll see that they are small, soft-bodied bugs with two front legs that extend further than their other legs. You may even notice dark spots on their translucent bodies. With a magnifying glass, you are able to distinguish species, gender, and eggs.
What does spider mite damage look like?
One of the more noticeable characteristics of spider mite damage is the presence of brown/yellow flecks on the leaves. The amount of flecks will depend on how severe the infestation is; severe infestations will leave the leaves completely ruined.
What does a spider mite infestation look like?
Large spider mite infestations will result in webs on the leaves. This webbing is different from regular spiders – it is a thick film that is draped across the stems and leaves.
These webs keep conditions dry, allowing the mite population to be mobile and secure.
Inspect plant leaves for spider mites
It’s easy to see if there is an extensive mite population infesting your plants because of the extensive damage that is caused. However, it’s best to catch the problem early to avoid more significant damage to your plants. Spider mites feed off of plant sap by making small punctures in the leaves, causing physical damage and draining nutrients. This causes stress and can eventually kill the plant. You can prevent this by catching the mites early on, minimizing the damage.
Use a blank sheet of paper for detection
When searching for spider mites, hold a sheet of paper underneath while you shake the leaves. As they fall onto the paper, you will be able to see the mites more easily due to their colors. Spider mites come in various colors, including red, brown, yellow, or green. Depending on the types of plants you have, the coloring can make them difficult to see. Knocking them onto a white sheet of paper will cause them to be more noticeable.
Setup trap crops to catch them
You can use traps of sticky sheets or strings during your inspection for mites. You can make your own sticky traps by glazing small pieces of yellow cardboard paper with something sticky, like molasses. The bright yellow will attract the mites, and the molasses will trap them on the cardboard and away from your plants.
Now that you’ve determined the severity of your spider mite infestation, it’s time to fix the problem. By treating the issue with Kapow, you are killing the mites in a safe manner with natural ingredients, including lemongrass oil. Once treated, be sure to apply Green Thumb to your plants on a regular basis. Green Thumb also uses natural ingredients to not only aid in the prevention of pests, mold, and mildew, but it benefits your foliage as well!