Arbor-wellness: Spider Mites
Will they harm humans or animals? Spider mites specifically only feed on plants, thus they cannot harm animals or humans.
Where do they come from? They are dormant on the bark or other parts of the tree in winter, and re-emerge in the spring or summer. They are tiny and can be carried by the wind, or even when animals brush up against an affected tree or plant and move them on their fur.
How do they damage my trees? They remove chlorophyll from the leaves and slow plant vigor and health. In severe cases, they can actually kill a plant, but that is rare.
What can I do about it? There are many species of spider mites, but their control is similar. The most important distinction between types is determining if you have warm season mites or cool season mites. This determines the timing of some of the treatments. There are a variety of ways to control mites, including ways to reduce populations naturally.
- Proper pruning can help. This reduces the conditions in the tree that favors mites.
- Canopy washes help by simply wash off dust and mites. If the population is not high, this can be effective control in itself.
- Systemic treatments prevent populations from establishing. These are best to apply before the growing season.
- Canopy treatments geared specifically to spider mites are options when the population builds enough that they are damaging plant health.
If you are concerned about spider mites and want to schedule an inspection, fill out the form below.