All of us probably recognize common house spiders. However, property owners should also study their close cousins, the spider mites. Although minute, spider mites can have a disastrous impact on a property and devastate once-healthy plants. So, learn what spider mites are, how to find them, and how to recognize infestations. Then, hire a professional local tree service to inspect your trees and get the insect issue under control.
Timber Works Tree Care is such a service, offering a range of tree care options to property owners in Bull Run, VA. Our licensed and insured team of tree specialists offers free estimates, safety inspections, and consultations. Although we do not offer pest control, we provide invasive plant species control, especially for large swaths of land. Contact us at (540) 692-9606 or fill out an online form for more tree care information.
Below, we describe spider mites, how to find them, and how to control them:
What Are Spider Mites?
Spider mites are tiny pests that resemble spiders and feed on the sap of plants. Their long, sharp mouthparts can penetrate the leaves of host plants and draw nutrients from the cells within. Severe spider mite infestations can damage, stunt, and even kill full-grown trees.
Part of the Tetranychidae family, spider mites are arachnids rather than insects. Common species include the two-spotted spider mite, spruce mite, and southern red mite. Although small, mites reproduce quickly and grow their populations at exponential rates.
Where Can You Find Spider Mites?
Spider mites appear in almost all geographic areas, though they are most active in warm and dry climates. If your region is warm and dry year-round or seasonally, then your property may be susceptible to mite infestations. Additionally, these pests feed on hundreds of trees, shrubs, and other plant species. You can assume your garden, greenhouse, and yard could host these pests, especially during the summer.
Signs of Spider Mites
Spider mites are difficult to detect because of their minuscule size. To many of us, they may appear as a mass of small, moving dots. Therefore, the most effective way to identify a spider mite infestation is through indirect symptoms.
As these pests feed on a host plant, affected leaves develop a dotted or “speckled” look. Pale spots indicate areas of drained plant cells. The plant’s foliage may also show signs of leaf scorch, appearing bronzed or otherwise discolored. Also, mites often leave behind a spider-like webbing on the plant.
How to Control Spider Mites
Fortunately, you have some options to control spider mites. Since they are only threatening in numbers, you can mitigate damage by simply keeping their population in check. Schedule frequent inspections from a certified arborist to find and eliminate mites and their eggs.
Spider mites thrive on stressed plants, so take adequate care of your trees and remove weak or infested ones. Provide them with sufficient sunlight, irrigation, and protective, organic mulch. Finally, consider supplementary treatments like safe pesticides and the release of beneficial insects that prey on spider mites.
An Exceptional Local Tree Service in Bull Run, VA
You can help protect your plants from spider mites by taking steps to understand, identify, and control these harmful pests. Turn to Timber Works, a local tree care service that serves Bull Run, VA, property owners with tree care and maintenance. Our experienced and knowledgeable tree experts can answer your questions and offer hands-on help. Timber Works experts can provide a free project estimate at (540) 692-9606 or through our website!