Measuring less than 1/50”, spider mites are hard to see with the naked eye. They are usually red, green, orange, brown or black in color, and they have oval-shaped bodies and four pairs of legs.

These pests commonly feed on evergreen foliage, damaging plant cells in the process. Damaged areas have small, light flecks, leading to an overall speckled appearance. In severe infestations, leaf discoloration becomes so extensive that the plant can take an overall gray or bronze look. Leaves and needles may become scorched and drop prematurely. Eventually, plant death can occur.

What Can Be Done?

Spider mites can be controlled with a combination of insecticides and proper care and maintenance (such as regular fertilization and watering) to promote good tree and shrub health. To prevent lasting damage, prompt identification and treatment is essential. If you think you may have a spider mite infestation, a professional inspection is recommended.

Please note: Spider mites can also find their way inside your home through windows and door frames, and may be found on house plants or crawling around windowsills. A perimeter treatment of your lawn and foundation area of your home can help these (and many other insects) outside where they belong.