Do you know where spider mites come from? This is our focus in this discussion.
If you noticed a steady discoloration of your garden plants, chances are that such could be due to spider mite presence and feeding activity.
So what causes spider mite infestation? Let’s find out.
How Do You Get Spider Mites?
First, symptoms begin with yellow and brown spotting of leaves which may later develop into completely yellow leaves.
The problem is, such plants might stop growing completely. These tiny plant parasites mainly target plant tissues as well as sap. They feed by piercing through plant cell walls behind leaves and suck out the juices.
To better control spider mites, it’s necessary to know where they come from.
Areas Most Preferred By Spider Mites
As a buildup to the complete unveiling of the origins of spider mites, it’s important to know their most preferred habitats. Spider mites are more adapted to areas with higher temperatures.
They do better in terms of growth and reproduction when weather conditions are dry.
If you live in a humid area, spider mite presence is likely to be more common. These pests will always be found close to their food source; underneath plant leaves.
Spider mites thrive best where a drip irrigation system is used.
This is because they’re hardly washed off by water.
Origins of Spider Mites
Sometimes you may wonder how spider mites come around. Are they airborne? Do they live in the soil and quickly find their way up the plant? Are they spread unconsciously by humans and pets?
Where exactly do these parasitic insects come from?
You’ll want to sit back and relax as we give you the details.
The spider mite problems you have originated from someplace.
Possible causes include nurseries or garden centers, infected plants, large plants, clothes and shoes, poor hygiene, excess nitrogen application, pets as well as friends & family.
Nurseries or Garden Centers
There’s a clear incentive for spider mites to target nurseries.
The abundance of plants makes garden centers attractive to these pests. Because a lot of plant lovers visit such nurseries, it’s easy to bring in spider mites that may have been picked from plants close by or from your garden.
As you purchase spider mite-infested plants from the nursery, you unknowingly bring them into your garden. This results in further spread across all plants within the garden. Of course, the result is the destruction of such plants when left attended.
Spider mites suck its sap and juices, thus killing it.
It’s only a matter of time for an infected plant to further spread spider mite infection to neighboring plants. It doesn’t matter if the plants are well spaced apart.
Spider mites are light and can be blown off by wind to neighboring plants. Also, these mites could easily move or migrate to new locations.
To save your plants, you’ll have to act fast. Now, some people may wonder how to take urgent action when they have no idea of spider mite presence.
It’s necessary to pay close attention to any changes in your plant’s appearance.
Also, you’ll need to inspect beneath the leaves.
This action(s) should be taken as a preventive treatment.
Large plants tend to be more attractive to spider mites due to their rich foliage which provides ample food supply to these pests.
When there are large untreated plants around your home or garden, it’s certain to result in the spread of spider mites to other smaller and larger plants alike.
With more foliage comes an increase in spider mite population and activity. As always, action is necessary to eliminate these pests from your property. More about treatment will be discussed shortly.
Clothes & Shoes
Did you know that you could pick up spider mites when you step or brush off infected plants?
These pests will easily stick to your clothes and until you get to a more favorable location where they get transferred to other plants.
This may be one of the ways you got your spider mite problem in the first place.
What makes this method of spread even more possible is the fact that you’re oblivious of spider mite presence on your clothes and shoes. Even indoor plants are affected through this method.
Also, plants grown in greenhouses, growth chambers, indoor vertical farming are vulnerable to this type of infection.
A simple action as spraying your plants with water also serves to remove or eliminate spider mites. This is a cleaning action that seeks to remove dust resting on plant leaves.
When this isn’t done periodically, it increases the likelihood of spider mites infesting your plants.
To resolve this problem, you know what to do. Have your plants sprayed with water at least once a week. This can be done as a preventive treatment. Here, your plant benefits significantly.
It doesn’t matter whether there’s an existing spider mite problem or not. This method will still be beneficial.
Excess Nitrogen Application
Plants require nitrogen to develop properly. However, when too much of it gets applied, it serves to attract pests such as spider mites. Excess nitrogen leads to funny proteins being produced.
This in turn results in spider mites sucking their juices.
By their nature, pets love to roam around the yard and neighborhood.
Also, they wouldn’t hesitate to take a rest among plants. All such actions result in spider mites clinging onto pet fur. Unknowingly, the pet transfers these pests to other plants.
You may want to restrict your pet’s access to your garden. This action can be taken in addition to applying other treatment alternatives.
Friends & Family
Remember we mentioned earlier that spider mites can be spread by humans? Well, it could be those closest to you. They come around to keep you company but unknowingly carry spider mites along.
Spider mites only need to have a foothold or presence within your yard.
With more foliage, their reproduction and spread are rapid. You need to consider this as a measure to keep these pests at bay.
Spider mites can be treated in several ways.
The most common, yet effective method is by spraying or hosing your plants. More focus should be underneath leaves. Neem oil can be used too.
This should be mixed with water and sprayed on plants.
Also, consider isolating infected plants for treatment.
Mites come from different sources as we’ve seen above. You’ll need to be extra cautious to keep them off your plants.