Your garden is a small eco system consisting of plants, birds, small mammals, insects and other creatures. With the right conditions, all of these living things can thrive in harmony with one another.
However, there are some creatures that can sow chaos in your garden, bringing destruction and diseases.
One such creature is the spider mite.
What are spider mites?
Although spider mites are closely related to spiders (and scorpions and ticks), they are not exactly spiders. Rather, they belong to a distinct family called Tetranychidae. Like their namesake, spider mites are capable of forming webs, often to protect themselves and their young ones.
How do you know if you have spider mites in your garden?
One of the tell-tale signs of an infestation is the webbing found on plants.
But how do you differentiate those webbings from those formed by spiders? First, get a leaf from a plant that you suspect is affected by these creatures. Then, tap it onto a piece of white paper. Using a magnifying glass, watch closely for movements on the paper. If the plant is infested, you will see the spider mites moving on the paper.
Small creatures, big problems
Spider mites deprive plants of chlorophyll, a green pigment which gives plants their green color and enables them to absorb energy from sunlight.
Deprived of chlorophyll, the leaves of an infested plant will turn brown and fall off. Soon, the affected plant will die.
Although spider mites have a short lifespan, averaging just about a month, these creatures mature and reproduce quickly. A single female is capable of producing about 100 eggs in her lifetime. And each of the offspring can become mature and ready to reproduce in just a few weeks.
Protecting your garden
Due to the quick reproduction of spider mites, it is essential to be vigilant against the presence of these creatures.
If you are adding new plants to your garden, make sure to closely inspect these first.
Make it a habit to regularly inspect your plants for signs of infestation. Spider mites prefer to attack vegetables, ornamental plants, and fruit trees, so pay extra attention to these.
Finally, be sure to spray the leaves and the undersides of these using a high pressure spray. These creatures may hide on the underside of leaves.
To learn more about how to control pests in your home or business, be sure to contact your local Modesto pest control company.