Spider Mite

Last updated: May 20, 2021

What Does Spider Mite Mean?

Spider mites are a garden pest of the Acari or mite family of insects that live and feed on the bottom side of a leaf on a plant.

A spider mite use its razor sharp mouth to cut into the plant’s delicate fibers and suck the sap from the plant's vascular system. Growers will often notice grey specks on the leaves and fine webbing. The specks are areas where the spider mites have been feeding.

A magnifying glass or scope is often needed to detect spider mites as they are sometimes too tiny to be seen by the naked eye.

A plant infested with spider mites.


Maximum Yield Explains Spider Mite

Spider mites are leaf suckers and chewers that can deprive the leaf and plant of nutrients. If left untreated, a spider mite infestation can and will eventually weaken and kill the plant.

They are a common problem for commercial greenhouses and florists, as they can infest nearly any type of plant. Often a large infestation of the pests will occur before a grower notices the problem.

Leaves of an infected plant will start to turn yellow or bronze and suffer a slow decline. With cannabis the buds of the plant may also become covered in the spider mites' fine webbing.

Spider mite infestations normally occur either during or just following a warm dry spell. The two-spotted spider mite can hatch in just three days and mature in fewer than five. Spider mites thrive in the heat of a grow room or greenhouse but they do not like air circulation. Creating ventilation and putting fans near the plants can help control the pests.

Spider mites are most recognized for their white, soft web they spin on the bottom of a leaf. Because they spin a powdery white web, spider mites are sometimes confused with another plant condition called powdery mildew. It is only upon closer inspection that they can be identified and treated as a mite and not powdery mildew.

There are many treatments the home grower can use to reduce or eliminate a spider mite infestation. They range from something as simple as repeatedly washing the infested area of the plant with a mild soapy solution, to utilizing a commercial spray at the agribusiness level.

Other common pests a grower needs to worry about are aphids, fungus gnats, and whitefly.


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