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Signs of damage
Spider mites damage foliage by sucking juices from the leaves. You may notice their appearance by the following signs:
- Yellow and brown spots. This sign indicates earlier stages of mites' appearance.
- Web. As their name hints, they are related to spiders and belong to arachnids. So they produce a web to protect themselves and their eggs.
- Bronze or yellow appearance. This happens when the damage is heavy.
- Leaves drop and distorted flowers. Another sign of a heavy infestation, and for some plants (like azaleas), it happens more often.
How to prevent
- Firstly, keep your plant healthy because stressed plants are more prone to diseases in general. So don’t forget to water and fertilize them regularly.
- Secondly, be as attentive as possible, and check the condition of your plants by examining them with a hand lens. Spider mites mostly appear at the underleaves and then spread to the whole plant.
- If you are worried that your plants might be affected by some pests in the early stages, but there are no visible signs of it, here’s the tip: hold the white paper under the potentially affected leaves. Then shake the leaves to check if something falls on the paper. If there are any small bugs, the plant is infested.
Don’t start the treatment with pesticides since mites are resistant to them, so you won’t get rid of these pests. Even more, you will kill all the beneficial bugs.
We recommend using natural predators that can eliminate mites. There are plenty of such, including ladybugs, Big-eyed bugs, Lacewing, and even special Spider mite destroyers, to name a few.
Start your treatment with the mechanical removal of the pests. It is better to use a hose because water pressure can help to eliminate them. After that, treat both affected and healthy plants in your garden with Insecticidal oils. Finally, consider getting natural predators.
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