23 Jan Mites
Description: Mites are tiny critters at less than 1mm in size related to spiders. Some can just be seen with the naked eye but many are too small and it is only their damage and/or light webbing that can be seen. Mites feed on various parts of the plant including leaves, buds and fruits.
Damage Caused: Mites cause a general discolouration of the infected area and can also show signs of distortion to new shoots, buds and fruits. If in sufficient numbers they will disfigure and weaken the plant considerably. Mites can also be credited with the spread of plant viruses.
Control: Mites thrive in protected conditions away from moisture such as on plants under the eaves of your house or other rain-shadowing structures. Periodically watering the foliage of plants in these positions can aid in reducing populations of mites.
Green: Horticultural soaps (eg. Natrasoap) and oils (eg. Eco-Oil) sprays are useful for both vegetable and ornamental gardeners. Soap sprays work by covering the exoskeleton of the pest killing it. Oils sprays work by smothering the pests, blocking their breathing (which they do through their body) and killing them. Eco-Neem is another registered organic treatment. Application to the entire plant (including undersides of leaves is crucial when using these types of products, as they require you to get the spray onto each pest present for successful control.
NB Do not apply oil sprays in temperatures exceeding 25°C as this will likely burn foliage.
Orange: Not required for this pest.
Red: Not required for this pest.