Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae)

Order: Acari (AK-ar-ee) (Info)
Family: Tetranychidae
Genus: Tetranychus
Species: urticae

Regional

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Burbank, California
Canoga Park, California
El Granada, California
Elk Grove, California
Glendora, California
Lake Elsinore, California
Norco, California
Pomona, California
Ramona, California
Salida, California
Simi Valley, California
Sunland, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bartow, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Thomasville, Georgia
Laupahoehoe, Hawaii
Lava Hot Springs, Idaho
Moscow, Idaho
Caseyville, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Pearl, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois
Crestwood, Kentucky
Houma, Louisiana
La Place, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Gardiner, Maine
Harpswell, Maine
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
Newton Center, Massachusetts
Davison, Michigan
Millersburg, Michigan
Mount Morris, Michigan
Baxter, Minnesota
Brewster, Minnesota
Kansas City, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Reno, Nevada
Espanola, New Mexico
Buffalo, New York (2 reports)
Canandaigua, New York
Craryville, New York
Dansville, New York
Syracuse, New York
Matthews, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Chillicothe, Ohio
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Monmouth, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Ladson, South Carolina
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Aransas Pass, Texas
Dallas, Texas (3 reports)
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Palestine, Texas
Plano, Texas
Weslaco, Texas
Danville, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Battle Ground, Washington
Bremerton, Washington
Ferndale, Washington
Graham, Washington
Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Richland, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Augusta, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming
Show all

Members' Notes:

3
positives
7
neutrals
5
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Nov 9, 2006, VbSparky from Dansville, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

very very bad bug , really hard to get rid of.

Barely visible to the unaided eye, mature two-spotted spider mites bear the characteristic black spots that are their namesake. Adults are straw yellow; nymphs are merely smaller versions of adults and range from pale yellow to pale yellow-green. Two-spotted spider mites reproduce extremely fast and can overwhelm plants by sheer numbers. Leaves of plants infested with spider mites show a distinct spotted effect called stippling. Spider mites cause stippling because they feed on plant cells one at a time. Like their name suggests, spider mites can spin webbing; heavily infested plants are typically covered with the fine webbing they use to disperse from old plants to fresh ones.

Spider mites are known for their abi... read more

Positive

On Dec 25, 2007, GEORGE1948 from Harpswell, ME wrote:

I RAISE ORANGE TREES IN MAINE. THEY ARE IN BIG CONTAINERS.....ON THE DECK IN SUMMER AND IN MY SUNROOM IN WINTER. THIS IS THE WORSE YEAR FOR RED SPIDER MITES. THEY HAVE TAKEN OVER. I HAVE SPRAYED THEM WITH JUST ABOUT ALL THE COMMON SPRAYS..... AND I FEEL THEY ARE JUST BATHING IN IT. IS THERE SOME SORT OF ''BOMB'' THAT I CAN SET IN THE SUNROOM TO GET RID OF THE LITTLE BUGGERS?

THANK YOU.

Neutral

On Jan 23, 2008, blomma from Casper, WY (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is one hard type of bug to get rid of. Once noticed, the infestation is far advanced. Here in zone 4, my roses tend to get infested. Last summer my houseplants became infested also.

The first alarm of an infestation is what looks like dust on the underside of leaves. If you blow lightly, the spidermite will move to reveal its presence. A closer look will reveal spider webs that look like strings in between where leaves are attached to the stem. On roses, they like the new growth.

I use a spray solution of Malathion insecticide on all my plants for all bugs. I add a small squirt of dishwashing soap to the mix so that the spray will adhere better to the plant. I spray every 2 or 3 days to catch the new hatchings.

For longer-lasting cure, I... read more

Neutral

On Mar 26, 2008, kaimana from Laupahoehoe, HI wrote:

I treat infestations of my citrus trees with regular applications of wettable
sulfur

Positive

On Apr 28, 2008, chironex from N Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

I received 2 plants from an ebay seller about a week ago and noticed the spider mites on them. I prefer to use organic controls and remembered that I had some Stylet Oil. This took one spraying mixed at 1 oz per gallon. The mites were gone in one day. Stylet oil is great for control of fungal diseases, Aphid-transmitted plant viruses and phytophagous insects and mites. It is made of refined white mineral oil. It also helps with powdery mildew. I used it in a vineyard with great success. I would sell this to you in smaller quantities, but it is EPA controlled, so repackaging it would require a license and MSDS, blah, blah, blah....sorry.

Available at http://www.stylet-oil.com from JMS Flower Farms in Vero B... read more

Negative

On Jul 7, 2008, morrigan from Craryville, NY wrote:

as an avid gardener, especially of indoor plants since we in the northeast, I have found red spider mites to be ubiquitous. They are hard to get rid of, and tend to favor dry conditions and sunny locations. I have been trying a Neem Oil and soap mist to control them - I'll let you know how it goes. But they CAN spread like wildfire if you have them on a houseplant, isolate the plant and check any others that were in close proximity to the affected plant.

Negative

On Feb 28, 2009, Pugzley from Lake Elsinore, CA wrote:

The red spider mites started on my bush beans and zucchini first, they spread like crazy, I used everything from diatomeceous earth to sevin dust on them, sprayed red hot pepper and garlic and soap, nothing killed them. They were too far gone before I knew what they were. They wiped out all of my plants, but didn't seem to be as crazy about the tomatoes as the other veggies. I ended up yanking all my plants except eggplant, okra and tomatoes that were least affected by them. They are devils.

This year, I have started using Stylet Oil as a preventative on all plants I am growing outside. I believe if you allow them to get a foothold, even for a few days, you're doomed.

If you have spider mites, you must act pre-emptively against them, otherwise, you're going ... read more

Negative

On Mar 24, 2009, MonMon from Paris
France wrote:

These creatures are an absolute pain in the ass to get rid of. I noticed they mostly go for new shoots and buds. Signs on your plant are stunted and damaged new leaves, with the other leaves of the plants drooping and getting spots .The webs are first noticeable in the bends of branches. Eggs are on the underside of leaves, tiny black spots.

My houseplants cought some last year, not sure HOW since I lived on the 5th floor flat of an apartment block in the middle of the city. They really like rose plants, which I had one of on my window sill. They then went to the Jalopeno pepper plant. I thought I'd gotten rid of them after having given the plants a thorough shower and spraying them with insecticide. Brought the plants back to my mother's house. Forgot to warn her about the... read more

Positive

On May 1, 2009, zelda54 from Buffalo, NY wrote:

The only thing you need to do to control spider mites is spray them off with the hose and use insecticidal soap regularly.

Neutral

On Apr 27, 2010, tikipod from (Ang) Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought some herbs this year and they came with a free gift - spider mites. So far my treatment has helped and they only seem to be in the indoor plants I bought.

Negative

On Jun 21, 2010, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

**cries** I am completely INFESTED!! Is there anything on the planet more EVIL than these things?!?! I am thinking no.

I have a slew of hybrid tea roses as well as a few climbers and a couple of miniatures, I also have tomatoes, bell peppers, Serrano Peppers, and some spices. It all started with my parsley. I noticed the leaves were turning yellow... thought maybe its getting too much water so I kind of took it easy on the watering... that didn't help so I started REALLY inspecting. I saw these teeny weeny little reddish brown spiders. I did some research and found it was spider mites. Found out REAL quick, they are no joke!

So I sprayed the parsely down with insecticidal soap and waited to see what happened. It didn't occur to me to ISOLATE the infected plan... read more

Neutral

On Dec 8, 2010, Green_Tay from Hamilton
Canada wrote:

i recently had problems with spidermites, i used a neem oil solution and applied every 6 days or so, did that twice and that has seemed to done the job.... for now

Neutral

On Jun 2, 2013, SpiderMight wrote:

I've been planting tomatoes for the past four years. It was not until after I tried composting my rose trimmings that the spider mites appeared.

I wonder if another factor is the amount of dirt around my tomato plants. I am trying to create a walk way and cover it with a brick layer, and I would like to add a layer of wood chips as well all around my tomato plants.

But until then, it looks like I have a triple threat of too much of a dirt environment and using the wrong material when composting. I compost by digging holes and throwing vegetation into the hole and covering it up with dirt.

I have been simply wiping the tomato plants with one hand only, which I then don't touch or contact in any way until I have thoroughly washed it.

... read more

Neutral

On Aug 4, 2013, commanderbunn3y from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I actually prefer getting spider mites above mealy bugs any day just because they are easy to get rid of! This is my secret recipe for Voodoo spray, it kills almost all small insects. One quart spray bottle add 1 tblsp Palmolive, 2 tblsp Epsom salts fill the rest with water. Spray weekly until the problem is gone. They hate moist environments so syringing daily will help tremendously!

If your plants are in direct or bright light you may want to wash the mixture off, it could burn the leaves of some plants.

Oh, be sure the dish liquid is not a degreaser! That will burn the leaves.

Negative

On Apr 19, 2014, paulobessa from Porto
Portugal (Zone 9a) wrote:

As a long term gardener, for 20 years, this is surely the worst pest you can have indoors or in a greenhouse.

It's much more damaging and quick-spreading than aphids, it is much more difficult to deal with, than say slugs. Definitively worst than cabbage butterfly. Spider mites are a nightmare. They can be large scale destroyers.

Much has been said here: they spread like hell. They prefer dry conditions, so using a water hose on your plants, or washing them under the tap can work, but you need to repeat treatment every 5 days. Forget a few days, and your plant will be quickly turned dead.

Another option is moving your plants outdoors during rainy weather. If conditions are not like this, then you must think of the third factor.

Sp... read more