A spider mite is not really an insect; it is closely related to spiders and ticks. The spider mite has a one-piece body, eight legs, antennae, compound eyes, and no wings. Even though it is almost microscopic, the damage caused can be tremendous if a large number of spider mites feast on your plants. They feed on the underside of leaves by piercing the plant tissue and sucking the juice.

Remedy: A high-pressure water spray directed at the underside of the leaves can be very effective in dislodging all stages of the spider mites’ life-cycle (egg, larva, nymph and adult). To work effectively, start early before numbers get large. This procedure will interrupt their reproductive cycle. Repeated treatments are usually necessary to keep the pest numbers low.

This remedy is effective also with aphids.

Reni Brown, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Pests and Pesticides