First of all, what are those little red spiders and why are they in my garden? Why do they want to be in my garden?
Little red spiders are tiny red mites that favor azaleas and camellias, but they aren’t fussy, they like any plant you may have. If you have a large variety of plants, they are going to love your garden unless you take preventative measures to keep them away.
There are two kinds of red spider mites:
Spider mites belong to the Acari (mite) family Tetranychidae. They are less than 1 mm in size and vary in their color. Both varieties will cling to the underside of the leaf and suck the nutrients out of it. If you notice your plant looking dusty or it is beginning to wilt, chances are mites are feeding off it. If you look closely at the dusty looking substance on the underneath of leaves, you will see the movements of the mites.
Once your plant is infested with them, you will need to eradicate them, or they will continue to feed off your plants and eventually kill them.
Mites are more active in cool weather so you will be more likely to see them in the Spring or Fall seasons. They also prefer hot, dry conditions and they are attracted to plants that are beginning to get dehydrated.
Spider mites aren’t harmful to humans, but some people may develop an allergic reaction to them from their bite. If you brush against a plant that they have congregated on, they may bite you, but it doesn’t hurt. The bites will look like small pimples and most likely surrounded by a red circle, or it may look like a rash.
They only eat plants, so they can cause major damage and devastation to a garden if they aren’t caught in time. They will also reproduce on the plants they feed on and they multiply quickly.
You must be diligent in finding them and eradicating them so your plants will stay healthy and happy. The best defense against them is to prevent them from clinging to your plants, to begin with.
When you bring new plants home to integrate into your garden, you may be bringing the spider mites in with the new plants. Thoroughly wash any new plants before you plant them. This will aid in keeping your garden healthy and insect free.
Here is a list of options to rid yourself of spider mites:
Below are some of the signs of infestation that you can look for:
Spider mites are tiny, so you may want to invest in a magnifying glass, so you can see them better. Many sites on the internet show what a red spider mite looks like.
Some strawberry farms will use the predatory mites to control any mite problem they may have, but they use larger scale procedures due to the size of their farms.
You can also use chemical, but the mite will eventually build up resistance to any chemicals.
Mites like any environment that is rich with plants. This would include greenhouses, landscaping projects, nurseries, golf courses, and parks.
In conclusion, as long as you’re diligent in spotting these little insects, your plants will thrive and stay healthy, and the little red spider mites will cease to be harmful to your garden.