The homeowner’s guide to controlling spider mites

What are spider mites?

Insects less than 1mm in size and virtually impossible to see with the naked eye. Spider mites typically live on the undersides of leaves, often spinning protective silk webs and puncturing plant cells to feed. You can find spider mites on dwarf alberta spruces, maples, arborvitaes, palms, ficus, ivy, roses, petunias, cosmos and many others. Spider mites are active in March through October.

How to spot the problem

Normally the first sign of spider mites is a mottled or pinprick yellow discoloration on the underside of leaves. Try holding a piece of white paper under a branch and shaking it. If infected, you’ll see small red or brown dots moving on the paper.

How to control spider mites
  • TIMING: If spider mites are present, control should begin early in the growing season to prevent the buildup of a large population. Mites typically start hatching when temperatures warm to the 40˚F mark in early spring. In extremely hot weather, the mites may go into a resting stage, only to reemerge in cooler conditions.
INSECTICIDE: Apply Fertilome Triple Action Plus to underside of leaves.
  • EARTH FRIENDLY: Apply All Seasons Oil. Neem Oil is recommended for roses