Mites, sometimes called two-spotted mites or red spider mites (Tetranychus urticae), are tiny sap sucking pests that are only around 0.5 mm long, so they’re hard to spot with the naked eye. Often the first noticeable symptoms are leaves becoming yellow, bronzed and mottled and then as the colonies expand rapidly they create masses of fine spidery webbing.
Mites love hot dry conditions so are very common during summer, where the life cycle from egg to adult can take as little as 5 days. Female mites can lay as many as 300 eggs!
Plants susceptible to mites include:
· Indoor plants
· Hydrangeas and roses
· Tomatoes, beans and other vegies
· Citrus and other fruit trees
· Azaleas and camellias
As mites dislike humidity, infestations can be reduced by regularly misting foliage with water. Plants can also be sprayed with Yates® Nature’s Way® Vegie & Herb Spray, which is an insecticidal soap that is made from natural vegetable oils. It’s a fast acting broad spectrum insecticide that’s effective against soft bodied pests like mites. It can be used on a wide range of plants including herbs, fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. It works via disrupting the pest’s cuticle layer, which is a barrier that normally protects them from damage and water loss. Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray works via contact action so good coverage of the pests themselves (on both sides of foliage) is important.
Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray is certified for use in organic gardening so is ideal for gardeners wanting to control pests organically & is available in a handy ready to use pack and a concentrate.
The image below shows the progression of leaf damage from mites.