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Spider Mites: What You Need to Know

Need to get rid of spider mites? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Is A Spider Mite?

Spider mites are arachnids, which means they are relatives of spiders, ticks and scorpions. There are over 1,000 species of spider mite and their characteristics and habitat vary by species, however they all share the fact that they are almost too small to see with the naked eye and come in at around 1/50th of an inch which is about the size of a small flake of pepper. Their habitat can vary quite widely and is dependent upon the species, however, spider mites considered pests can be found in household plants, landscape plants, farm crops and fruit trees. They are commonly found in hot, dry conditions and can be a menace to your garden and houseplants as they attack both indoor and outdoor plants. 

How Can I Spot Spider Mites?

Spider mites typically live on the undersides of leaves and plants. They are less than 0.04 inches in size and can come in a variety of colors. It can be hard to detect individual spider mites with the naked eye, however, you might see their webs spun from silk webbing instead. 

Are Spider Mites Dangerous?

Large infestations of spider mites pose no harm to humans, but can cause visible damage to plants and even destroy plants altogether. Spider mites survive by puncturing the wall of the plant cell and sucking material from within. Leaves that are under attack from spider mites will be marked with small yellow or brown spots which may eventually change color and fall off. A plant infested with spider mites may even develop completely yellow leaves and stop growing completely.

How Can I Protect My Houseplants and Garden?

Because spider mites are so small, and if the plant can withstand it, it is possible to just spray down the plant with water. It is possible that the force of the water pressure is enough to knock off most of the spider mites. 

Another possible treatment for spider mites is to employ the use of insecticidal oils like neem oil or a horticultural oil. Spider mites are resistant to common pesticides and using these pesticides on your plants might kill off beneficial natural predators like ladybugs, lacewings, minute pirate bugs and predatory mites and may have the reverse effect of making your spider mite infestation worse. 

When Should I Call Pest Control for Spider Mites?

A spider mite infestation on your houseplants or in your garden or greenhouse is unpleasant and troublesome, but doesn’t have to be totally destructive.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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