Spider Mites are very tiny arachnids. Adult females are only about 0.4mm long. Males are even smaller. Spider Mites have four pairs of legs and two needlelike stylets (mouth parts) they use to pierce plant tissue and suck juices.
Damage From Spider Mites
Spider Mites are a common pest of houseplants, roses and many other plants, causing leaves to turn yellowish with a silvery sheen, and often drop to the ground. Outdoors, the entire canopy of the plant will have a bronzed look with finely speckled foliage prior to leaf drop. Spider Mites usually congregate on the undersides of the leaves, and if the infestation is severe enough, you'll see the fine webbing there. Another way to test for mites is to hold a piece of white paper under a branch and give it a shake. If you see any tiny specks on the paper, and after a few seconds the tiny specks begin moving, those are probably Spider Mites
Spider Mites like warm and dry conditions – exactly what it's like in most homes in winter or outdoors in the heat of the summer, especially in the southwest. They also like water-stressed plants or ones covered with dust. Spider Mites are almost invisible to the human eye and are easiest to see with a magnifying glass.
Where Spider Mites are Found Geographically
Spider Mites can be found throughout the United States.
- Spider Mites prefer dusty plants, so it really helps to frequently wipe down houseplant leaves with a damp cloth.
- Outdoors, spray plants with a strong jet of water from a hose.
- Water regularly to avoid drought stress.