Red spider mite?

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Red spider mite?

Post  Fuzzy on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:48 pm

Spotted this little critter on my Oak today before squishing. Is this a positive ID of the dreaded Red spider mite or something less dreaded? It measured approximately 2mm in length. The reason I ask is because I understood Red spider mite were hard to see with the naked eye. What do you Guys think?




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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:58 pm

That is, I think, the young stage of one of the true bugs. Some of the Hemiptera are "good bugs" and some are "bad bugs." Both can be found on trees at all stages of their life, and why they are there depends upon what they're eating. (But if you don't see aphids, or white flies, or other "bad" critters, this one is probably a "bad bug."

Squishing is an appropriate response.

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:09 pm

I have been told that this one is a good bug and it goes around eating all the bad bugs. Generally Red Spider mites are only seen as specks of dust on a sheet of plain paper.

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Red Spider Mite?

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:55 pm

We have been getting a more or less annual question about this ever since the old ListServ. This is not an insect & has nothing to do with spider mites, which are almost invisible to the naked eye. This is a clover mite. It feeds on weeds and lawn grasses, but I have never heard of clover mites attacking ornamental pot plants of any kind. They are only pests when they swarm in large numbers & get into the house. If you find one in the house, get it with the vacuum cleaner, because they leave a stain when crushed. I read that if you are plagued with clover mites, fertilize your lawn less. I sometimes see a few of them in late summer or early fall.
Iris

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Fuzzy on Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback Guys and gals. The interesting thing is that as you say Spider mite are very tiny, and so armed with my trusty magnifying glass I examined some of my recently collected Elms. What I found on some of them living in the nooks and crannies of the bark were very very very tiny bugs way too small to be photographed. I suspect that these could be spider mites so a spraying is in order me thinks. I’d also like to apologise to Mr Red bug for squishing him rather unceremoniously and may his little soul rest in eternal peace. Sad

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:38 pm

I read that if you are plagued with clover mites, fertilize your lawn less. I sometimes see a few of them in late summer or early fall.

Well then, I'm safe. Neither I nor my family have ever wasted fertilizer on a lawn.

We still have to mow every week.

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:07 am

Fuzzy wrote: I examined some of my recently collected Elms. What I found on some of them living in the nooks and crannies of the bark were very very very tiny bugs way too small to be photographed.
I have never heard of spider mites living on the bark. Never spray pesticide unless you actually see damage or a known pest, or you have had actual damage at this time in previous years. Indiscriminate spraying just because you see insects is the worst thing you can do. That's one reason we got MRSA resistant bacteria, unnecessary use of antibiotics. Ask Nina.
Iris

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Fuzzy on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:14 pm

Never spray pesticide unless you actually see damage or a known pest, or you have had actual damage at this time in previous years.
Iris[/quote]
Good point Iris.
So where does preventative spraying come in, Some swear by it? Smile

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:21 pm

The only creature I regularly see on or in the bark, are what look like tiny, round, shiny beetles. They tend to be a red brown or bronze colour and smaller than Poppy seeds. They too, seem to do no harm at all.

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Kev Bailey on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:24 pm

Some swear by it?

And more educated gardeners swear at them! As Iris says. Only spray when it is appropriate and when you are certain that there is a problem. Use the safest cure possible and read the instructions carefully. More often than not a good jet spraying with a hose gets rid of insect problems as well as any chemical. And it leaves the helpful bugs like bees and ladybirds (ladybugs) unaffected.

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Fuzzy on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:40 pm

will baddeley wrote:The only creature I regularly see on or in the bark, are what look like tiny, round, shiny beetles. They tend to be a red brown or bronze colour and smaller than Poppy seeds. They too, seem to do no harm at all.

Yeah! That’s the ones. Well spotted Will! So has anyone ever seen a spider mite? And who does preventative spraying, come on own up!

Maybe I wont get my bug spray out then. cheers

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Red Spider Mite?

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:00 pm

We had a discussion of preventive spraying a few months ago. It is appropriate when you know there is going to be a problem, or you have had a problem in the past. You spray your roses for blackspot every summer before the symptoms appear. If you have had leaf mites on your Chinese elm every August, you spray with a systemic insecticide in July. But you don't spray if you see an insect that you can't identify and you don't see any damage.
Iris

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:58 pm

In MY book, the only preventative spraying that has any effect on anything is with a fungicide on plants that you KNOW are susceptible to fungal ailments. In fact, spraying a fungicide while the fungus is active is usually a total waste of spray -- and money.

There is absolutely NO point in spraying for potential insects. If there's nothing to kill, that is exactly what you will get -- nothing. Pesticides available to the home users don't have much residual effect -- and you should be very, very thankful for that fact.

Iris and I will just have to disagree about the value of systemic insecticides.

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:35 am

Having grown many different varieties of plants over the years I have encountered spider mites before, although not the red variety. I am new to bonsai but have had many species of house plants and always have found that spider mites tend to attack softer varieties of plants like parsley, grasses, or clover. I have had them severely on certain plants and they will leave others untouched (ficus, palms, jade, bougainvillea were all safe). They will live on the underside of the leaves making the topside spotty(tiny white spots), and look like small grains of sand stuck to the leaf. As the infection worsens you will begin to see webs being created at the base of the leaves and in the crooks of the stems. They very rarely attack plants when they are outdoors as there is far more suitable and abundant food sources available. The only times that I have ever gotten them was when all my plants were in for the winter. To get rid of them Neem oil spray works quite well for more severe infestations, but I have a garlic and soap mixture by mixing water and fresh garlic in a food processor then adding some dish soap. This tends to stave off the little buggers through the winter until the plants can return outside. Once the infected plant is put outside they will disperse over the course of a week or two. For large indoor gardens I have used lady bugs as a safe treatment as well. One lady bug will eat between 100-200 spider mites or 50-100 aphids per day, problem solved.

Might be too much info but I hope it helps. Oh and I would always recommend looking for natural remedies before using any chemicals. They are usually cheaper, easier, and far safer for you and your plants.

Todd

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Re: Red spider mite?

Post  Fuzzy on Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:17 pm

Todd,
Many thanks on the info, Interesting read. thumbs up

Fuzzy
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