Spider Mite Damage -- Are the needles on your evergreens turning
a dull gray-green in color? This may be evidence of a spider mite infestation. As the number of spider mites increase, webbing
can often be found between the needles and dropping of needles may occur.
Every year my marigolds seems to get infested with spider mites. The plants
take on a mottled or spotted look with webbing between the leaves. As the infestation get worse, the leaves will turn yellow
or brown. If the spider mites aren't controlled they may kill the plants.
Spider mite infestations can be detected by holding a piece of white paper under
a suspected branch or leaves. Tap the branch or leaves lightly. If spider mites are present they will fall onto the paper
and appear as tiny crawling specks.
Spruce spider mites cause damage to pine trees which will often have webbing or a silky looking
substance on the branches or twigs. Eventually needles become stippled yellow and dirty looking. SpiderMites are either red,
black or dark green and their presence can easily be identified by placing a sheet of white paper underneath the needles.
By tapping the foliage lightly you will dislodge the spruce mites and they will be readily visible on the sheet of paper.
They will appear like pepper grounds, but the spider mites will quickly begin moving around
This spider mite spends the winter in the egg stage attached to host plants. The spruce
spider mite eggs hatch in March to April and the spider mites can complete development in 3 to 4 weeks. If summer temperatures
are constantly over 90 F, spider mites becomes dormant and lays resting eggs. These eggs and spider mite adults resume
activity in the fall when cooler temperatures return.
Conifers often react slowly to the feeding of this spider mite. Yellowing and bronzing
of the needles may not become apparent until the heat of the summer, even though the spider mite damage may have occurred
the previous fall and spring.