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Pest Guide - Mites

Spider Mites

Spider mites are the bane of bonsai growers and growers of ornamentals in general.

Red spider mites are just visible to the human eye. They look like little red spiders. If you look carefully you should also be able to see eggs that look like microscopic pearls. They also make a visible webbing that looks like debris on the underside of the leaf, not on top.

Mites by themselves are not aggressive movers. They pretty much stay on the same leaf or nearby leaves for their entire lives. They are usually worst in dry dusty conditions.

Mites usually start becoming a problem in late spring and reach a peak by late summer or just at the peak heat of the season. They are definitely hot weather critters. In cold weather they move and multiply much more slowly. In summer their life cycle is about seven to ten days.

Clover Mites

The Clover Mite is an arachnid that invades homes in the spring and fall of the year. When mashed, the dead mite leaves a red mark that resembles blood. This red mark leaves most people to believe that they are dealing with a tick or other blood-feeding bug, which is not the case.

Clover mites feed on juices from plants, not the blood of animals or humans.

This mite has a habit (in their natural surroundings) of migrating to trees where they hide in the tree's bark. If close to a home, the arachnid considers the building the same as it would a tree - a wonderful place to hide from extreme temperatures. Entering through tiny openings around windows and doors, the clover mite invades the wall voids of the structure and then enter the house itself.