name: Spider Mite, Two Spotted Mites, Red Spider Mite
Latin name: Tenuipalpidaee sp and Tetranychus sp
Notice the severe webbing caused by a large
spider mite population on this Norfolk Island pine.
1/50th of an inch.
Colors: Shades of red, brown, tan and pale yellow to
clear. Life cycle: < 14 days.
Mouth parts: Sucking
Transportation: People and pets can transport mites
indoors. Air currents can introduce mites. They can walk to a new
Red Spider Mites on Norfolk Pine
Houseplant Pest information: For some unknown reason Spider mites
are attracted to many species of palms and brightly colored
plants. They are difficult to detect until their population has
gotten large. At which time you will see evidence of webbing and
severe yellowing or speckling of the plants foliage. Spider Mites reproduce at a tremendous
rate and can quickly take over a houseplant.
Signs of infection: Look for
yellow mottling of foliage, and masses of tiny spider webs. A
plant that looks abnormally dusty or dirty may have mites. To test
for mites place a white sheet of paper under a suspected
infection. Gently tap or shake the plant allowing the mites to
fall on the paper. Examine the paper for signs of movement. You
may need a magnifying glass to see the mites.
Control: The first thing
you should do is call 911... just kidding. If possible the
plant should be taken out side or to a wash area and gently hosed
down. Spray water on both the upper and undersides of the leaves. This will dislodge a large percentage of the
Spider mites. After the plant has dried, spray with Safer's Ultra Fine Oil spray and add systemic granules
to the soil.
The infected plant should be washed down and
re-sprayed weekly until all
signs of the Red Spider mite infestation is gone.
For other chemical controls of houseplant insects call or visit one of our
sponsors, or order this excellent indoor/outdoor pest and disease reference book
for alternative eco-friendly solutions.