Pest: Spider Mites
First Sign: Little yellow speckles on leaf surfaces. When you turn a leaf over, tiny, oval shaped mites, about pin head in size, are scurrying around. Their eggs, best seen with a magnifier, will be scattered around at random. Spider Mite eggs are all perfectly round, the same size, ranging from clear to amber in color. With larger infestations a fine webbing, crawling with mites, covers the plant tops. Soon, the leaves are browning and dying.
Most Common Species: The Two Spot. The "two spot" Spider Mites are usually yellow/tan/greenish in color, and by maturity they grow two dark spots on their shoulders, one on each side. The larger the spots, the older the mite, or the more chlorophyll there is in the plant species they are feeding on. Spider Mites can float along with wind currents, or be carried by pets, clothing or infected plant material.
Special Species Notes: Adult females have the ability to go dormant for a time after the photoperiod (daily hours of light) shortens, then re-emerge to lay more eggs a few weeks after the photoperiod lengthens again. That's one reason Spider Mites keep reappearing crop after crop on indoor plants.
Spider Mite Predators
Spider Mite Predators not only feed on Spider Mites and their eggs, they also breed twice as fast! Each Spider Mite Predator sucks the juice out of about 5 Spider Mites a day, or 20 of their eggs. Used as directed, predators should noticeably begin to gain control within 4 weeks, and then continue until the Spider Mites are nearly or completely wiped out. Predators disappear when the Spider Mites are gone.
Most Effective Control:
("Triple Threat": Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, & Amblyseius andersoni)
Use our mix of 3 species to cover a wider range of growing conditions.
Wide Temp Range, Moderate Humidity:
Temperature Range: 55 - 105+ F.
Humidity Range: 55 - 90%
Phytoseiulus is a genus of mites in the Phytoseiidae family. A predatory mite, this is the mite predator most frequently used to control two-spotted spider mites in greenhouses and outdoor crops grown in mild environments. This mite was accidentally introduced into Germany from Chile in 1958; it was subsequently shipped to other parts of the world, including California and Florida, from Germany. A Phytoseiulus mite can consume up to seven adult spider mites or several dozen of their eggs in a day. Adult females are reddish, pear-shaped, about 0.5 mm long, and active at room temperature. Immatures and males are smaller and lighter in color. Eggs are oblong. About 80% are females. At optimum temperatures, Phytoseiidae can develop from egg to adult in 7 days and live up to a month. A well-fed female lays about 50 eggs in her lifetime.
Moderate Temp Range, High Humidity:
Temperature Range: 55 - 90 F.
Humidity Range: 60 - 90%
Neoseiulus californicus is a predatory mite that feeds on Tetranychid mites. This species was first described on lemons from California under the name Typhlodromus californicus in 1954.
The mite 0.04 mm long is pinkish red to pale white color with six legs. Males are smaller than females. The larvae are translucent. Females lay 2-4 eggs a day. Eggs take 1.5–4 days to hatch depending on temperatures.
Wide Temp Range, High Humidity:
Temperature Range: 42 - 100 F
Humidity Range: 60 - 90%
Amblyseius andersoni is a spider mite predator that is commonly found in orchards and vineyards in humid regions of the eastern Atlantic. It is suitable for use on ornamental and fruit trees such as apples and performs very well against two spotted spider mites on roses. It is active in a very wide temperature range.
Amblyseius andersoni is polyphagous and omnivorous; deriving its feed from multiple sources including mites, thrips, fungi, and pollen. This feed flexibility enables it to remain on your plants even after there are no pests left to consume. Amblyseius andersoni predatory mites are active within the lowest and broadest temperature range from 42 degrees F to 100 degrees F. During periods of low temperatures or short photoperiods (less than 10 hours of light) they will go dormant until conditions change.
All three types can be used either separately or in any combination. If you don't specify, we'll send you our Triple Threat mix of all three.
These tiny Mite Destroyers eat all stages of Spider Mites, and find new infestation sites on their own by flying. But, it takes 4-6 weeks to really get these guys going, so use Predator Mites as well for more immediate control and for cleaning up small "trouble spots". Life cycle takes 18 days at 70 F. 100 Spider Mite Destroyers gets a colony started.
Other Controls: Some customers report good results against Mites with some of our more All-Purpose Predators such as Pirate Bugs, Ladybugs and Green Lacewings , but these results may be due to very specific combinations of conditions that most growing environments don't have. But, if you have these other predators on hand for other plant problems, give them a try if you see Spider Mites.
Handy Hint: Many Pyrethryn sprays are encapsulated. While Pyrethryn is relatively safe (it breaks down quickly), encapsulation can make it last for weeks or months indoors. This residual action kills off Hired Bugs even after it no longer affects pests.